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Many people I've met have said, "I want to start my own business. I just don't know where to start!"
What always fascinates me is that they seem to believe that entrepreneurs are magicians who have a special handbook that they were never given. Just like learning how to snowboard, or playing a musical instrument, entrepreneurship is a skill that anyone can learn. It's not a matter of just knowing, innately, what to do, it's a product of other factors:
1. Being courageous enough to take the plunge and commit to believing in yourself. Recognize a need in society, and fill the gap. (Hint: Within nearly every complaint, there is a seed for a new product or service that you can create as a solution!)
2. Having the humility to start at square one, ask a lot of questions, and make a lot of mistakes.
3. Having the drive to eliminate 95% of the things that are truly not making you grow into a better and stronger person. It is essential to open up space in your life to be able to begin to create awesome things that contribute to the world.
What are some of the biggest culprits that drain our time, money, and emotional energy? For starters: Mind-numbing TV, expensive material goods that we don't need, spending time with negative people, gossiping, getting involved in pointless drama, complaining about problems rather than focusing on solving them, fear of trying new things, fear of going to new places, fear of meeting new people, fear of being judged for being different, and (this is a major one) fear of being alone.
4. Having a strong enough reason why you want to do it, and the determination to continually move towards and clarify your vision.
5. The ability to execute and keep getting back on the wagon when you fall off. Plain and simple.
That's all there is to it.
No one knows what they are doing in the beginning. Along the way, things will change. You may end up shifting in a whole new direction. You will, in the terms that most people in the general population call it, "fail" a lot along the way.
I don't believe in the concept of failure. It's really all about your attitude. If you didn't get the outcome you wanted, you got a lesson about how to move forward and improve. The grander your vision, the higher you set the bar, the more lessons you will have to master along the way.
It feels great to follow your path and take control of your destiny. When you have a personal victory, nothing in the world is more rewarding. No matter how old you get chronologically, you stay young and enthusiastic at heart when you live your dream. You develop a true passion for living.
Don't get me wrong: in no place did I state that it is easy in any way. It's very hard. But here's the interesting thing: There is no easy road in life. I don't know about you, but I don't think there's anything harder than getting out of bed every day feeling hopeless about life because I've settled for something that doesn't make me happy.
This is true not only for my career, but also in my personal and romantic relationships as well. It's never too late to make a fresh start. Life is not easy. We cannot avoid pain and hardship. But when that pain and hardship have true personal meaning to us, and we realize that we are doing exactly what we were put on this earth to do, it makes it worth every moment.