For the entrepreneur, business is more than just the promise of making money, it's the realization of one's goals. Most entrepreneurs I know, including myself, are goal driven - as opposed to money driven. Any entrepreneur worth his or her salt will tell you that their businesses are a reflection of their dreams. And...if they're lucky enough to make those dreams into reality, and that reality becomes a success (in whatever form that takes), then...the money follows.
As many of you know, I've had some wonderful experiences and successes in my business life. I've also had some endeavors that taught me what not to do. Yet...I still consider myself a serial entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Some have a higher risk tolerance than others, however, as we've all recently learned - even working for someone else brings with it enormous risks.
When I look at my classrooms full of students, or sit on the stage at commencement, viewing hundreds of graduates as they get ready to go out into the business world, I wonder. Will they be able to find jobs? Will those jobs make them happy? Will their desires be fulfilled?
Today, more and more people have to think about going into business for themselves. Everyone I know...and that includes you, has brilliant ideas - things that could change the world in small or big ways. All it takes is direction, focus, knowing one's strengths and weaknesses, being able to realize when to partner with others and when it can be done alone, and having the tenacity to stick with an idea, set a plan, gather resources, and forge ahead.
I've coached and trained more entrepreneurs than I can count. I've helped them "get on their feet," given them advice, coached them through problems, and guided them so that they could avoid pitfalls and seize opportunities. It's part of what I love to do and is integral to my own entrepreneurial dream.
Sometimes, being business brave can be one of the most invigorating endeavors of a person's life. In today's environment it may be the best choice one can make. So...think about your desires, your plans, your wishes, what motivates you, what inspires you, what makes you (or would make you) want to "get up and go" each morning, and start conceptualizing your future endeavor(s). Life is finite...one's business journey should make a person happy and as contented as possible.
In the societies in which we live, economic survival is based (whether one agrees with it or not) on business and money - yes...they are both mental constructs, but - as with so many mental constructs, we make them real. Therefore, with that reality in mind - think, grow, innovate, and work on building your business dream. There is a sea of opportunities out there. And...you can acheive your business objectives while still being kind, compassionate, sustainable, and also by putting people before profits. Because when people come first...profits usually follow (especially if you understand what it takes to have the margins you need to be successful).
If you can handle the risk...it just might be worth it - in so many ways!
1. Step away from your "self" so that you can gain new and broader perspectives of yourself, and your life.
2. Stop trying to keep up with "The Joneses." Chances are they're trying to keep up with someone else. It becomes a never ending, emotionally, psychologically, and financially, draining cycle.
3. Learn how to Forgive. As Nelson Mandela once said, "Forgiveness sets you free." Try it and you'll quickly find out how true his statement is.
4. Don't live in the past. It's gone forever. You'll never be able to retrieve it, so why dwell on it? Emotions like jealousy, regret, hate, guilt, and worry, are time wasters and only hurt yourself...no on else. They eat away at a person unnecessarily and often become self-defeating and self-sabotaging behaviors that lead to emotional paralysis.
5. Live in the "Now." We're only on this Earth for a short and finite period of time - "Life is Permanently Temporary." Enjoy each "Now" moment. And...keep moving forward.
6. Be kind, tolerant, loving, and non-judgmental, but not weak. Everyone is different. No two people act or look the same. We can learn so much by being open to each other instead of thinking that we're always right. Our species is a beautiful fabric of different textures, why not enjoy the aesthetics of the entire tapestry? Each one of us needs the same things: Love, Respect, Shelter, Food, and the other basics of life. Know that none of us is greater or better than the next person...just different. And...while you keep an open mind and heart, be sure to maintain your strength of character and well-being.
7. Listen. Everyone has a story to tell. You already know yours. People bond quicker with those who listen to them (and their stories). How else will you learn if you don't use your ability to listen? Don't let active and intense listening become a lost art in your life.
8. Be grateful. Whatever you have, or don't have - there is, more than likely, someone else who would trade places with you "in a heartbeat." Sometimes it's hard to "see the forest for the trees," but you can bet, you're better off than lots of people...no matter how hard the advertising, marketing, and media industries try to convince you otherwise.
9. Exercise your body and your mind. Walk, run, workout, read, do puzzles, write, converse, visit museums, watch interesting movies, videos, television, and discuss it all with yourself, your family, and your friends and acquaintances. Get opinions about all the different aspects of life. Intellectual discourse is a great way to stay "sharp."
10. Sleep and take time to relax. Not much is better than a good night's sleep. Don't deprive yourself of that luxury. It refreshes your body and your mind and enables you to function at your peak. And, ahh...how wonderful it is to relax and take in life next to a flowing stream, on the beach, in the mountains, on your couch, your deck, porch, front lawn, or wherever you choose. Relaxing and having a good night of sleep are two of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself.
11. Eat right. A balanced diet translates into a balanced being. Healthy food makes the engine of life perform at its most efficient level. When you can...eat "organic" products. I'm not saying to be a vegetarian (of course, if you are that's great). We've evolved as omnivores, yet so many of our meats, vegetables, dairy products, fruits, nuts, and grains have been tainted by science in the name of "progress and profit." Beware. No one knows what all those pesticides, herbicides, genetically engineered, and factory farmed products will ultimately do to our systems. Why take a chance?
12. Laugh, sing, and don't take things too seriously. Come on! Why not? As I said before..."Life is Permanently Temporary." Do you really want to spend the better part of it worrying about things that have mostly been made up anyway? Remember...we live in a world of mental, societal, and social constructs. Once you realize that, you begin to see the absurdity in so many of the things we take as real or important. Laugh! You'll be much better off for it!