I've always been that person who takes forever to make decisions about things I feel are too risky. I'm also the person who needs to come up with the pros and cons list with a side of best and worst-case scenarios. I remember there was a time that I would literary do so much research about something and eventually would talk myself out of the decision because it just didn't seem logical for me to make that move at that point. A repercussion of this was that I would be frustrated with myself all the time because I had all these great ideas that I could share with other people but could never seem to get the courage actually to make happen. The worst part of this is that people would occasionally ask, " So... how is that business going?" to which I would have to make a joke about being busy all the time, and it just not being the right time.
And what would frustrate me even more, is that people would come to me for advice on starting businesses, and it was always easy for me to advise them to take that risk as it would pay off in the long run... THE IRONY OF IT ALL. I am sure I have people out there who can relate to my sentiments or understand the struggle to some degree. If so, this is for you!!!
My dad always asks me, "What distinguishes you from successful people who are your age?" When I was younger, it was mostly regarding grades and what made these other kids in the same class as me, with the same teacher as me, get better grades than me. I would whisper under my breath because I wasn't as smart as all these other kids, but as an adult, I have had to rethink that. There will always be someone smarter than you, faster than you, more privileged than you, have more opportunities, luckier even... and the list can go on, but what distinguishes those who are successful and those who aren't?
At the time, I didn't really understand what he meant, but that might just have been because I had been looking at it from the wrong place. He always used the word success, not pass and fail or anything else but success. From my understanding, success is subjective: now hear me out; I know we all have this idea of what successful people are but hear me out. It is subjective because we all have a different idea of what success means to us; for some, success is getting a university degree; for some, it's being married and starting a family, and for others owning a business.
What makes these things successful is YOU, not your brain's capability to remember the Pythagorean Theorem, race, gender or even your background. It’s about your attitude, passion and the joy you get from doing whatever it is that you love. Success is the ability to go through a rough patch and look forward to the rainbow at the end of the storm, not because it’s easy but because you need to. It’s willing to get your hands dirty and put in the extra hours of work that come with it because you see the end vision. It understands that you can fail, but you need to get up and re-strategize if it does. It's trusting that your dream is attainable even when everyone else says you are wrong, and the odds seem to be against you. The difference between people we see as successful and us a lot of the time is the ability to take a risk and start something while being aware that you might fail a couple of times but eventually, you will succeed. It’s that person who sees a solution amidst "the solutions" other people have come up with.
That’s what success is for me, but it might mean something different to you, so where am I going with this ...
Doing nothing is worse than failing at something because, at least when you actually do something about your dreams, you learn and grow from the experience. The funny thing is that a lot of the time, what we are actually afraid of isn't failing but its succeeding and the fear of not knowing what will present itself. It’s a fear of losing people we love along the way, and most importantly, it is the fear of letting yourself down, so it’s easier not to hope or start at all. The truth is most people never have a point where everything is perfectly conducive to starting to work on that dream that they have had for years, and chances are no-one with come and hand it down to you on a silver plate anytime soon (although I wish it could be). You only have one life, and you need to live it to its fullest potential, so please don't be your own EOP (Enemy of Progress).
Take that risk and START whatever you are thinking about right now...what are you waiting for?