I’m writing these lines after a week spent in Hawaii. I spent the second night at a pub, where a cute couple were singing as a band of two: she was on the guitar and vocals while he was playing mandolin and backing vocals. They sang about 6 songs and you could really feel them touch you. At least I could, the small crowd that had gathered seemed that they were a lot more boozed up than me and not that receptive to the music in front of them. A table-full of people had risen to leave and the girl in the band had told them in a joking and shy way “Please, don’t leave!”. It was a moment in which the long hours spent on rehearsals, the fear of failure that comes with the start of anything new and the pure passion lying underneath were exposed.
Seeing the couple, I had flashbacks of my own personal experiences. It’s so easy to give someone a piece of advice from deep within your own comfort zone. A friend of mine invited me over for coffee to talk about his new entrepreneurial journey. After talking with him, I came to notice that he wasn’t interested in actionable advice. He said it like this: “You know what’s the problem? I’m still young and.. I want to have fun too. I’m afraid that if I go in too deep in work, I won’t have a life.
Of course, fear of failure is one of the underlying causes for this behavior. Of course, he would sacrifice some fun form his life if it were to be a surefire way to success. However, the thought of working 10 hours every day for something that may or may not come to generate a significate amount of money would paralyze him into inaction.
I’m a dedicated person. I love what I do. I have a relatively disciplined life and I’m always on the move. I can see younger, inexperienced, but dedicated people who I work with basically acting like a “sponge” around me. They absorb the know-how and the insights that I offer, as I had enrichened myself with the wisdom of my mentors. A fun fact that I’ve noticed and could demoralize you if you’re not careful are those people that have not found their purpose and passion yet. They are usually the ones that are most worried for your comfort and your well-being, asking questions like: “Don’t you think that you’ve been working too much?”, “Do you get to have any fun?”, “When’s the last time you took a vacation?”.
The underlying cause for why this happens may come as a surprise. People don’t like their belief system challenged. Your will to strive for more and live a different lifestyle challenges their own life choices. They will try to “protect” you so as to prove to themselves that they are doing the right things in life.
People have asked me if I work during the weekends or Christmas. I tell them “No”, because I want to avoid uncomfortable discussions. In fact, I am telling the truth and I can wholeheartedly tell you this about entrepreneurship: if you love what you’re doing, work turns to fun. So, yes, I do spend the weekends in front of my laptop and sometimes even the holidays. Because I have a vision, I love what I’m doing and that makes me feel fulfilled. Wisdom also came with experience. I will share with you some things that I’ve learned in my decade of entrepreneurial endeavors.
- If you’re doing something just for money, it’s called work. If you’re doing it because you enjoy it, it’s called fun (and money will come if you’re good at it).
- Successful people are hard workers. It’s important for you to understand that because there’s a lot of misconception regarding why some people are successful while the majority aren’t. While it is true that most successful people are naturally talented, they wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without hard work.
- Make time for close ones, proper nutrition, sleep and exercise. Spending quality time with your significant other, family or friends can leave you feeling energized throughout the day. Successful people prefer having a relationship because they are conscious of the value that the right partner can provide for your life. A carefully chosen diet and proper sleep will make you feel more energized in the long term. Exercising regularly will provide more oxygen for your body and brain, which will significantly raise your productivity and work quality.
- Focusing on the details will set you apart from the rest. Focusing on the bigger picture will help you evolve. These two things go hand in hand with each other.
- The inner genius thrives in solitude. That’s why it’s important to accept yourself and learn to enjoy your own company. People tend to run from themselves by being surrounded with other people, just so they will forget about their own frustrations.
- Action is the one most important thing that pushes you forward and expands your comfort zone. When you realize that you’ve been stagnant for too long, you have to push yourself to get things done, get back on track and thrive to be more.
- The people that you surround yourself with will either lift you up or bring you down. It’s your responsibility to carefully pick the people with whom you want to exchange energy with.
- The need for acceptance is the biggest trap that you can fall into. The more you look for acceptance in those around you, the less you will get. The only type of acceptance that you should be looking for is the one that lies within yourself. Ironically, people will accept you unconditionally when you stop caring if people will accept you or not.
I do realize that changing who you are is a difficult process. I’m here to tell you one thing: it’s what makes it so fun! Don’t settle for less than you think you deserve. Set your boundaries so that people in your life will not jeopardize your life’s mission and just keep on going, even when the going gets tough!