At the age of 25 and I feel like I’ve just started my coming of age as a person and as an entrepreneur. Many start up junkies and super successful E’s have sold there first business by 25 and made millions – but me, I was the girl that didn’t go on a single date until my freshman year of college – so it makes sense that I’m a late bloomer in other things as well.
The reason I started thinking about my late-bloomer-hood is because I spent the weekend in LA with clients (for www.OracleLaunch.com). I got to stay at the oh so nice Roosevelt hotel, meet Jay Leno and party with some neat people from the entertainment industry at Drais in Hollywood.
It was fun, the last day I was there I lay floating in the pool staring up at the palm trees. I kept thinking back to my youth as a nerdy, shy, socially akward girl of 18 and thinking how far I have come. It’s taken too long (in my mind) for me to finally feel confident in my own skin and be at the place where I can pursue my dreams without fear.
I wrote this post as a letter to my younger self, a short guide to getting to where I am today and hopefully if you are struggling at all in your entrepreneurial journey it’ll help reboot your confidence and put you on the fast lane to success and eventual freedom.
The Steps to Real Freedom
- Attitude (having a good one makes all the difference) Have you met those people who are always looking for the negative in life? They tend to bring the general mood down and justify their own lack of living an awesome life by constantly complaining and looking for the worst case scenario in everything. These are the people, sadly to say, that you must avoid like the plague if you want to live a fabulous, healthy, freedom fighter lifestyle. You can try to change them, help them along or preach to them about the benefits of positivity – and once in a while it’ll work. But for the most part you’ll find you’ve wasted your breath, frustrated yourself and just given them more ammo to be negative about you later. So in cultivating your own positive, happy, I-can-do-anything attitude remember the number 1 key is to surround yourself with others who are happy, positive and encouraging towards you.
- Discipline. This was something that took me WAY too long to realize the importance of. I have always struggled with being lazy, sleeping in way too late and putting things off until the last minute. Over the last year or so I’ve discovered the importance of discipline if you want to become a successful entrepreneur or truly a success at anything. So try things like forcing yourself to get up early every day until it starts sticking, maintain a schedule and manually “check off” items you’ve done throughout the day to keep momentum and especially check into the Pomodoro Techinque (something I’ve personally used and praised for a while now and has totally changed the way I get things done).
- Doubt (a warning sign or a blockade to success?). When you doubt yourself it’s either a warning sign your subconscious is sending in an attempt to avert disaster or a self protecting mechanism that is sabotaging your success. 9 times out of 1o it’s a blockade to your ultimate success and should be ignored. What you must do is to gain the wisdom through life experiences and reading to realize when it’s real and when it’s a false alarm. An example: Preparing to go on a date with a D-bag would lend to my mind casting doubts on whether or not this is a good idea, if I listened to those doubts and thought about it I’d realize “wow, this is not a good idea, this guy is a cocky jerk and nothing productive will come of me spending more time with him”. On the other hand, when my mental ‘doubt’ sirens start going crazy as I am hunkered down in preparation to start a new business I must evaluate: is this just fear talking or actually grounded logic.
- Fear (kicking it’s butt). Fear is similar to doubt, we get afraid when we are about to leave a relationship we know isn’t working anymore – simply because we are creatures of habit and shaking up that routine scares the crap out of our lizard brains. Fear, like doubt, is 9 times out of 10 ridiculous and silly. So what you must do as a Super E is to squash fear by playing out the situation with the best possible scenario, and then with the worst, if the best outweighs the worst then go for it. An example: When I started my blog I got fearful, what if nobody read it, what if I spent hundreds of hours on it and it amounted to nothing… then I used my logical brain to judge the best and worst case scenarios. Best: it does exceptionally well and in a few short years is the leading blog on mobile entrepreneurship and living a free, fulfilling life. Worst: it bombs, only my mom and dad read it and I have wasted an hour every other day on it for a few months. The best FAR outweighed the worst so I decided to pursue it… and boy howdy am I glad I did!
- Kindness. In life it pays to be kind. This is a principle I realized about halfway through college and it has stuck with me ever since. I can judge a person’s character on subtle kindness cues and it has helped me out loads in choosing people to partner up with, to work with and to have personal relationships with. People that are kind are FAR more successful in life, are happier and spread their inner joy to others. Whether you run a Fortune 500 business or serve coffee to haggard commuters – be kind and see how doors open up to you in almost magical ways. An example: You can ALWAYS judge a person’s kindness quotient by the way they treat wait staff, it is a dead on indicator and a great means of judging their character.
- Love (makes the world go around). A great book to read on this, in relation to your entrepreneurial pursuits is Love is the Killer App by Tim Sanders. His book talks about how to properly use love in the workplace and in your day to day dealings and how powerful of a tool it will be in building success. No matter what you go into, personal or business you should do so with love. I mean truly love the work you do, love the people you surround yourself with and most importantly love the type of person you are. If you don’t have all 3 of these then it is time to regroup and make some seriously life changes.
- Read (my n. 1 key to success). When people ask me what I would suggest they do to give them a jump start into entrepreneurship I always say “Read like they’ll be burning all the books tomorrow”. Truly reading is the best thing I’ve ever done in my career and is what I point to as a reason for my success thus far. I normally read 2-3 books a week either the traditional way (you know paper and such) or listening to them (audiobooks) or eBooks which I get online. The best thing you can invest in is in your own knowledge and every successful entrepreneur I’ve ever talked to always makes time for lots of learning via good books.
- Platform (it’s more important than you know). I think I can easily say that 90% of the work I’ve gotten through my businesses directly relate to this blog and the other platforms I use to personally brand myself. Choosing a platform is of the utmost importance whether you are just starting out or have been an entrepreneur for years. It is time to create a thriving personal brand around yourself – to show the world your best face and to create a ‘home base’ on the internet that others can go to and find out more about what you’re all about. I use my blog, my social media accounts (mainly twitter, facebook and youtube) as well as my podcast (which you can find on iTunes by search Escaping the 9 to 5).
If you liked this post please feel free to share how you came of age as an entrepreneur or ask questions below, I heart interaction with you all so much!
*photo credit: Yeah that’s from 16 Candles – best 80’s coming of age movie ever!