This coming January will mark two full years since I left the comfort of a salary to jump head first into the world of business and entrepreneurship. Where the time went I have no idea, but I will be the first to tell you it has been the best decision I could have ever made for my “working” life. I am not too fond of the words job or career. We are not born onto this earth to pursue a job, find a career, or make money to put towards retirement and material items we do not need. Since the day we are born we are genetically formed to grow physically, conditioned to problem solve and learn new things mentally, and filled with a spirit that leads us towards joining communities that fill our heart with joy.
Yet, how many people notice this reality?
How many people choose to partake in that high paying job/career that their family pressures them towards, even though they despise it? How many people put making money at a desk above their personal physical/mental health, when they could die of a heart attack tomorrow? How many people come home and sit on the couch to zone out in their phones, rather than lifting their spirits by attending local community events?
I have thought about why that is a lot lately. While I have not been able to narrow down a definitive answer, I believe the majority of it has to do with mindset. The inability to think outside the box is becoming worse and worse in a society that embraces “followers” and is distracted by rampant false truths. While this article could go so many different ways, I will stick to business and the point I want to make that entrepreneurship, just like life, is not one size fits all.
Within these past 2 years…
- I have raised capital without ever attending a financial class or writing a business plan
- Grown a personal brand without ever running a single ad or automatic system
- Made an income from 10+ different methods
- Invested in other people, brands, and businesses even though I’m not labeled as an investor
- Helped grow multiple physical and digital communities that have spurred life/love/business relationships for many people
- And much more
The reason I write that is not to be cocksure or conceited in any form. It is to show YOU that you do not need validation from a certificate, a degree, your family, your friends, me… or anyone/anything for that matter to achieve the things you want to achieve. All you need is the right mindset.
I personal believe this mindset consists of 3 things that anyone can achieve…
Self-awareness Empathy Grit
We need to be self-aware enough to know what our strengths/weaknesses are and WHY they are that way. What we want from life and WHY we want it. How we best/worst communicate with others, and WHY we are conditioned that way. Notice how I capitalize the WHY. Since we are kids we are told what to do, but rarely WHY to do it. Please change this in your own life, and inspire others to start asking WHY. I guarantee it will improve your life.
We all want to be successful. We all want to have tons of fans, customers, and tribe members. What does it take? Most think fame, most think out of this world skill, most think some type of cool aesthetic look they need to achieve...I think it is empathy. The ability to sit down with another human being, listen to them, tune into their story and their struggles, and provide a VALUE in return…that is success. Many struggle with the thought that they have no value to provide though. I struggled for years with this. I “thought” I needed a certain certificate, or degree, or title to justify my VALUE. That is so farfetched though. This is where empathy needs to kick in. Just listening to someone is a VALUE in itself. Who cares if you do not have all answers, none of us do. Just care enough to listen and possibly help that person point themselves in a better direction. 9/10 times that is all it takes. JUST CARE!
Things will inevitable not go as expected. There will be days you are in pain, exhausted, and utterly pissed off at the world around you. The funny thing is…every time I think back to a painful, annoying, insanely frustrating point in my life, greatness was right around the corner. My example…engineering school was so tough, yet at the end I earned a degree that allowed me to enter the workforce and earn a very good wage while learning some very useful skills. Then those same jobs started to irritate me, but because I had the income I could save up and provide for myself in other outlets. Those other outlets then taught me even more skills where I could eventually earn an income on my own. While that seems super smooth, the truth is halfway through engineering school I received a 1.0 GPA. That semester I was extremely overwhelmed and received the grades of a C,D,F and a W (withdraw). I remember not wanting to get out of bed. I had to maintain a 3.0 to keep my full-scholarship so I thought I was fucked…and being the naïve 19-year old that I was I thought the world was going to end. So I called my dad and told him I was considering pivoting out of engineering to pursue something else. That was when he gave me the best advice I had received in that point in my life. He told me that no one would ever care about that one semester where I received bad “grades.” Yet, if I quit and pivoted without giving it one more shot, one more semester to see if it was a fluke…then the rest of my life I would question myself and my decision making. I then learned the lesson that people do not care if you get knocked down, they just want to see how you react when trying to stand back up. So I got back up. I put one foot in front of the other, and just kept showing up. Over the course of the next two years I did better and better in both school and in life. I maintained my scholarship, joined a fraternity, volunteered for charities, won soccer championships, competed and placed in fitness competitions, partied my ass off, made life-long friends, and eventually graduated with over a 3.0. If I had quit, who the hell knows where I would be today. Thank you dad for keeping my fire lit and reminding me that life takes GRIT to get to where we want to go.
YOU define your destiny
While your business can, and will throw you hardship, it is those hardships that will determine your future success. How will you deal with those hardships? I highly recommend mastering self-awareness, leading your relationships with empathy, and showing up with grit every day no matter how good or bad that day is. There is no doubt in my mind that if you do this, your business will be extremely VALUABLE to others and allow you to #thriveonlife.