''Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you will miss if you don't even try.''
Some information out there seems to paint the picture that online entrepreneurship leads to overnight success, long beach holidays, lounging around anywhere you please, whilst looking cool typing away on your laptop.
This may be the case for an incredibly smart and lucky few, yet for the majority of us savvy, determined mortals, we have to put in the effort to product the same results that our old-school predecessors did, except the platform and journey has changed considerably since then.
We are living in the era of information where everything we need is at out fingertips. Can't figure out what to cook for dinner.....Google it! Can't find what car is right for you....read the reviews!
But we are also living in a time of great stress, longer working hours, lightning fast changes and the ever-constant threat of being laid off, thanks to technological advancements replacing certain jobs.
The results are: disintegrating family units, increasing health issues and eventual burnout, to name a few.
Here comes the reality check
Forget about those ads that boast large houses, expensive cars, lavish holidays, and having all your dreams come true. Although this may be where you're headed, it's more important to focus on the things that really matter.
I'm not here to tell you that starting an online business will solve all your problems overnight, but in the era of information, why not take advantage of the tools that you have at your disposal 24 hours a day?
Any type of information that you stumble across on your daily Google or YouTube searches, can help you learn and grow depending on how you use it.
Online entrepreneurship will give you more opportunities, not only to learn and go or develop and leverage your personal strength, but it will also give you a better quality of life in the long run.
The dreaded comfort zone
So many of us are stuck in a rut, but don't know what to do to get out of it.
The other spectrum is that people do know, but don't want to put in the effort to get there, or they're simply too afraid.
It is a common human trait to want to stay in our safe, warm, predictable comfort zones. However there is a way to get around that. Dr Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist says: ''Stay in safe waters, but plunge as deeply into them as possible''. When it comes to transcending your comfort zone, I would interpret this as.....do what you're good at, then share it with as many people as you can.
This is not only a journey to start your own business, it is also a journey of self-discovery. How many of us are incredibly good at something, and yet we don't even know it, or we don't care to share it with others?
So what will it take to propel yourself on this journey that will bring you a better quality of life?
Let's examine the steps you can take to get yourself moving
Your 3 step guide
1. Take action
Arguably, the most difficult step is this one. The biggest calamity to stop you in your tracks from taking action, is FEAR!
Fear of failure, or even fear of succeeding is the biggest threat to taking action.
This leads to overthinking, 'Can I do this, what if I get rejected, where do I begin, what if I'm not good at anything?'
These are only a few questions that will drown enthusiasm and cause mental paralysis.
Norm Sands, a music teacher at the Penn State School of Music, did a Ted Talk on 'Embracing fear and abandoning comfort.' You can watch the Ted Talk here for a bit of motivation and a quick kick-start.
He explains the results of giving yourself the opportunity to fail! Can you believe that?
How many people embrace a new challenge with their first thought being, 'I am doing this to give myself the opportunity to fail'?
You might think this is a very negative way to start off, bu tlooking at it from a different perspective, this mentality is giving you the backbone to deal with whatever challenges you will face to reach your goal. And you're fooling yourself if you think that new ventures don't come with new challenges!
The difference between winners and losers, is what mindset they're in when being faced with these challenges, because that will directly affect how they deal with them.
So how do I begin to take action?
Well for starters, you're doing it right now by reading this post!
Being here means that you want to take some action, but there's something lacking.
Now take that enthusiasm and start paying attention to what you're good at. When you realise what that is, start sharing it with others, and try to get their feedback. Start with your closest friends and family. They might even be able to tell you something you did not know about yourself. What a good place to start right?
This will boost your confidence and start you on that incredible path of learning and growth. You will notive your mindset will start to change, the fog will slowly clear and things will start to fall into place.
Remember to value the bad feedback as well as the good, as bad feedback will help you to improve what needs improving and good feedback gives you a platform on which to expand.
Don't get distracted by non-constructive, negative feedback.
Sift through the non-constructive feedback and get to the nuts and bolts of the matter.
2. Find a mentor or supportive community.
Nothing of value can be achieved when doing it alone.
You'll be surprised at what you can learn from people, if you just listen actively.
People enjoy talking about the things they know and are good at, and therefore they'll be very willing and eager to help.
When you find people with similar interests to you, start talking. This is when ideas start to generate, and voila.....help is at hand and you're well on your way.
You can find these communities among familiar faces.
Work, friends, family, people that you follow on social media etc.
There are also online communities that specialize in certain niche's and topics of interest. All you need to do is put fingers to keyboards and start searching!
These individuals and communities can guide you and provide valuable information and advice.
Goncalo de Vasconcelos, a writer for Forbes, wrote a compelling article on finding a mentor. Read the article here and get some valuable advice and resources on where you can find mentors online.
Remember, the quality of your mentor will reflect in the quality of your work., knowledge and skills.
Do your homework. Check their credentials, and read reviews about them.
Excellent mentors will have successes to show and not merely talk about them.
So which type of mentor should I try to find?
''The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled''
A worthy mentor will provide you with practical help. They have a plan for you and are determined to execute it, even if you are not! Starting something new is daunting enough without a mentor who doesn't have the patience to drive you from push motivation to pull motivation.
Look out for these basic traits
They have the same interests as you, and have proven to be successful in that arena.
- They have your best interests at heart, they want to see you progress and not just give you advice.
- They are highly skilled and knowledgeable.
- They are passionate about seeing people succeed.
- They have high standards and expectations of you.
- They learn as well as they teach, open-minded enough to listen and learn from their pupils.
Remember, don't be afraid of being refused by your chosen mentor. Just like you would like to choose the fit that's right for you, so does your mentor. This is a good thing. It will enable you to find the mentor that's right for you and your learning style.
3. Become a master of the Pareto Principle (AKA the 80/20 rule)
I'm going to give it to you straight here......
Stop wasting your time!
We all procratinate for different reasons. The main reason people procrastinate though, is because they know they will have to put some effort into something.
As humans, we all prefer to be in a familiar place with familiar surroundings, where we know everything will be hunky dory and we can all sing Kumbaya together in peace and tranquility.
But let's get back to reality now, this is not life. If you want to achieve anything, stop singing Kumbaya and start singing a new tune! (Maybe start with 'We are the Champions' by Queen, LOL)
The effects of time wasting and procrastination are dreadful. You will never achieve your goals and it can even send you into a spiral of depressive thoughts.
A little insight into the 80/20 rule
An Italian philisopher and economist, born in 1848, Vilfredo Frederico Damaso Pareto discovered something startling in his study of uneven distribution. Among other discoveries, he realized that 80% of Italian land was owned by 20% of the population, and 80% of production comes from 20% of companies. He developed the Pareto concept based on findings such as these.
The concept was originally developed in the concept of income and wealth distribution in the population, and is still relevant today in every respect, from business, to life in general.
So how do I apply the 80/20 rule?
Simple....apply it to your time. Not only in your new endevours, but in your life in general. Pay attention to the difference it will make in your results, and you mood!
You see, applying the 80/20 rule to your time means that 20% of your action will produce 80% of your production. Your time can also be thought of as Action.
If you want to achieve anything of value, you must become disciplined at recognizing that 80% of results will come from just 20% of action. 20% of action.... that's all it takes!
So next time you pump the breaks on producing any kind of action, think of how the 80/20 rule could apply, get up and start your 20% action.
Your 80% results will be your reward.
Upon embarking on this journey, your worst enemy will be your mind. Work on that first. When your mind is in the right place, take those baby steps to achieve your goals. One foot onfront of the other is the way to go. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and we all had to start somewhere.
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