Over the past decade I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with thousands of people who hope, one day, to own their own business. The people I work with are generally honest, hard working and have exceptional ethics. They endeavor to treat everyone with fairness and respect. They work hard for their employer, spouse, parents and children. Interestingly, they are often so focused on doing the right thing for everyone around them, they are reluctant to take control of their own future.
Why is this? Well, some people don’t feel like they ‘deserve’ it. Others folks don’t want the ‘responsibility’. Finally, most folks ‘fear’ the unknown. This month I would like to share a couple of thoughts with those individuals who struggle to create the future they want.
First, you deserve it. Even if nobody in your family has ever owned their own business, even if the ‘timing is not right’ (it never is), even if it will make people around you uncomfortable … you still deserve the opportunity to do the things that you really want to do. It may take some cajoling or negotiation with those around you, but you absolutely deserve it. Am I sounding like Dr Phil?
Second, take responsibility. There is a simple truth in life. If you do not take responsibility for your future, somebody else will. It is a choice. Responsibility takes courage; there is no doubt about that. However, do you really want travel through this journey called life without ever taking responsibility for your own actions, without trying to create a future of your own design? It is never too early, or too late, to begin. Start tomorrow.
Finally, there is fear. This is probably the number one issue facing new business owners. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever done anything new and exciting in life that did not also involve a certain degree of fear? Think about it – First day of high school, getting married, your first child, first time in front of an audience. All of these events are BOTH exciting and scary. Fear and excitement are flip sides of the same coin. If you seek to live your life without doing anything scary, you are also condemned to a life without doing anything truly exciting. Interestingly, dealing with fear is a learned skill, and it takes practice. The more often you try new things, the more exciting and enjoyable your life can become.
Taking responsibility for your life also means doing new things that may be scary. But you can do it and, most importantly, you deserve it.
A couple of days ago a lady that I am working with reminded me of the wonderful advice that Christopher Robin gave to Pooh –
“Pooh, promise me you will always remember: You are braver than you believe, you are stronger than you seem and you are smarter than you think”