ELEVATING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
I was recently offered an opportunity that was fantastic. This opportunity was truly tempting. Being a fairly new entrepreneur, all entrepreneurs know how constantly looking for business can be consuming and obsessive because you know that whatever you get is what will sustain you. There is no salary that will come like clockwork every 30 days. Luckily business has not been bad, but it’s been grueling mentally, so, when this opportunity came it was very tempting because I wanted to relax a bit and just earn a salary. I did not want to concern myself with how the money came about, which would be somebody else’s problem, just pay me for work done.
This desire was strong, until I consulted, though I also already had niggling doubts which prompted the consultation. The overwhelming feedback was how can you start your entrepreneurial journey when you seem to be gaining traction. Why will you decide to leave to start a job, which is the same kind of job you just left? But, I thought I could handle it, is it not what I did for many years, what is the biggy? So, I decided that to transition into the job, let’s see, start from a consulting perspective and do it as a project under my company.
It was clear to me from the very first day, it was no longer for me. It was a struggle and my whole system rejected it. It was going back! It was not who I wanted to be or where I wanted to be now in my life. Don’t get me wrong, tomorrow if the right opportunity comes along I will take it. But, it has to be an opportunity that is in line with where I want to go to or who I want to be. Oprah Winfrey said, and which resonates loudly, that “there is no paycheck that can equal the contentment that comes from being the person you are meant to be”. My team and I had a discussion on this and we ended up agreeing that while, we all have to sustain our lifestyles and survive, which is the lowest rung of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we should strive to understand what our gift and passion is, so that we can turn this gift and passion into money.
To buttress the point above, Oprah Winfrey said, “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service and working hard. The question is, what can you do or like doing, without being paid? That is where you should start from.
My team and I also used various successful people as examples. One example we talked about was Dangote. While Dangote has been phenomenally successful, we can see there is a thread through almost all of his ventures, which is retail. He builds huge manufacturing factories, at the end of the investment cycle, his objective is to distribute and retail his goods to customers, which is also how he started his business many years ago.
Another example is Bill Gates, technology was his passion and he stayed with it and used it to get to where we all know Bill Gates to be today – the richest man in the world.
Again Oprah said, “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment own it”. This quote again resonated. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It is even harder starting in a recessed economy like I did, but if we believe it is our moment, we can own it.
Learning from an athlete turned entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, who said, “everything in life is possible if you keep pushing yourself outside your comfort zone.” He went on to say with additions from me:
You can’t play it safe. Instead, keep pushing yourself
I have decided that I cannot play it safe or forget what I have purposed to achieve because it is difficult. Nothing good comes easy and we must keep thriving and pushing ourselves hard to achieve our objectives.
Be an entrepreneur with an athlete’s focus
You have to focus on your goal, cut out distractions, and lean into the pain. Being able to do that makes a big difference in business.
However, ability to focus is not enough. It is also important to know how to direct your focus. Howes says, “What you focus on determines your reality. For instance, if you are focused on generating income, you will naturally find ways to create more income. But if you focus on something else you will achieve that thing that is not what you set out to achieve.”
Believe in greatness
Often people become so daunted or depressed that they give up on pursuing their dreams.
“You have to remember that it’s the journey from having a dream to finally attaining it where you see the most personal growth, and that’s how you become truly great,” Howes says. He also notes that you have to embrace the messiness in order to discover the possibilities.
“Every person has greatness inside them, a purpose in life, and a unique set of talents to contribute.”
It’s easy to get caught up in competing ideas or get so wrapped up in life that you forget to look beyond yourself. You have to be able to have clarity on what you truly want. Without knowing the end goal, you don’t know where you are going.
That confusion explains why so many entrepreneurial dreams, estimates range from 40 percent to 90 percent — do not succeed.
This may take a while, but it’s essential to get clear on what your vision is. If you don’t know the bigger purpose of why you are pushing yourself so hard, you’ll burn out or get off course.
Start from a place of authenticity
Be true to who you are and ensure that you focus on what is authentically you in service and product otherwise you will burnout and lack longevity.
Let your dreams lead the way
Pursue your dreams and aspirations. While the realities of life can be daunting and we have to eat, not pursuing your dreams will leave you with regrets and the painful knowledge that you did not achieve your full potential.
Although, what I also sometimes see, is that many of us do not even have dreams. Please have a dream, decide who you want to be and where you are going to and what your destination will look like. Start to dream and nurture more dreams to elevate you to greater heights.