It’s funny how people would assume that you are an overnight success… They see one successful project and say you have a knack for it and make it sound like it’s a skill that you were definitely born with – can they even imagine the years it took you to master your craft? They get jealous of your big break and talk about it like it’s just luck you got it – were they even there when you had countless rejections it shattered your self esteem? have they counted the days and nights and extended hours you’ve spent preparing for this make-or-break game-changing opportunity? I don’t think so.
It took me years of dreaming and visioning to start… It took me more years to struggle through the birth pains… and even now – years after I gave birth to my brain child – I’m still learning and changing and evolving with the times… This is how it is when you decide to live your passion… Who ever said it was easy was well, optimistic!
So here are some lessons that my failures have taught me:
- Activity without purpose, makes one spent!: Choose the things you spend your time and resources on- always have the end in mind – for me, it means that everything that you do for your business must be something that makes you a step closer to your vision for your company. All those projects you keep doing for free? it will pay off if it means improving your craft or growing your network. But all those tasks that you keep doing that does not support your goals – will make you tired and stressed and spent! Learn to say NO to projects not consistent to your goals – no matter how tempting – if it does not support the ecosystem you’re trying to build? Say NO!
- Surrender: It may sound a bit magical to most of you – but experience has taught me that there are things that we can control – and there are things that we can not control. Sometimes, we want something too bad too soon – we end up not getting it! No matter how carefully you have prepared your time line – no matter how flawless the plan – it will go wrong! – not being pessimistic but it always pays to have a contingency plan. During execution many things will go wrong – it is beyond your control – but how you respond – your focus and your creativity and your contingency plans are things that you can. Defer the drama!
- Just Keep Swimming: No matter how small as long as you’re consistent, you will get there! Sometimes the tides are working for you – swim fast, if the tides are not – then swim slow – it will be difficult- but don’t stop! everyday you get yourself out there and plant! you see, some people are more interested in how much you harvest – but for us – what matters is how much we plant – this determines our harvest. Ignore the discouragements and mockery and doubts – let them doubt you – but never doubt yourself! Improve yourself and your craft everyday – get up and be there! Just. Keep. Swimming!
- Choose your battles: This is not about fighting people – this is more about doing one thing until it’s done! Multi-tasking is a myth – I heard, and I agree – it’s just jumping from one thing to another without really completing one – it’s being overwhelmed with your to-do list and tricking your self that you’re busy and therefore productive- but at the and of the day – do you have at least one completed task or just a series of things that you’ve started? – and not really a single item ticked off your To-Do List but a longer To-Do List for tomorrow? Breathe and don’t be distracted – keep doing it until it’s done then move on to the next.
- The Beginner Mindset: There will be too many humbling experiences as we move in this world so I’ve learned to see things like a beginner – generous with what I know and hungry for more. The moment we start to believe that we are the best at what we do, that will be the moment we stop learning and giving and sharing. And we start believing that we can achieve things on our own and we can do things without help. Do not be complacent. There will be times too when we feel inadequate and second guess our dreams – don’t! we will be better – do better things and have better rewards. Keep evolving!
- Have Healthy Habits: We’ve heard and read it too many times already – excellence is a habit, success is a habit. I have learned that for you to get really far you need to be consistent. I’ve learned to develop habits that has made me BE who I really want to BE. We clean our office and review our numbers and plan our strategies and update our action plans because there’s a client coming – everybody has their best foot forward and prepared to answer any question a potential client might ask – now imagine being in that state everyday because it has already become a habit? Wonderful isn’t it? We’re prepared and excellent everyday. Culture eats strategy for breakfast! Set a standard!
- You are responsible: Give yourself a little credit; never make your lack as an excuse for not giving your dreams a shot. Afraid to fail, to be rejected, to make mistakes, to look bad and disappoint people… Waiting for money, time, opportunity, signs and approval… These are excuses that your mind makes to talk you out of leaving your comfort zone – reclaim your life and make a choice! Stick to it and don’t let you life run on auto pilot till the day you find yourself on your death bed. Make the most of what you have – be grateful of what you have. Lack and abundance are two parallel paths – Choose! Fear and Trust are parallel too – Choose!