One of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur is the people I meet. It’s interesting to me how we tend to associate with people that are similar to us. When I worked in corporate America, I interacted almost entirely with people in the same world. People that also worked for investment firms. Breakfast, lunch and happy hour was with the same type of people. If I made new friends, they were from within the very large company I worked at.
And it’s only natural. I spend the majority of my waking hours there, so who else would I meet and socialize with? It’s a matter of location and convenience, really.
As an entrepreneur, I love meeting and talking with other entrepreneurs. The big difference is that most of the ones I meet are doing something entirely different from what I’m doing. And it’s amazing to listen to some of these stories, to learn aboutdifferent passions and ideas.
One builds towers for cell phone companies.
One created his own investment fund.
One is a professional copywriter.
A martial arts gym owner.
A life coach.
A new health drink in Dubai called ‘Better This’.
A human resources firm.
A basket weaver.
An owner of a pool cleaning company making high 6 figures by marketing in the most amazing way!
The list goes on and on and gets more and more interesting. The one commonalitybeing that they are all passionate about telling their story. They have worked hard and enjoyed their journey. They love what they do.
What Happens When You Stop Dreaming… And DO
And oddly enough, it sometimes reminds me of my 10 years back in the financial world. I met a lot of people and made some great friends back there, and they had stories, too.Except their stories were about what they would like to do, if they could. Passions they had when they were younger. Ideas for businesses that they’ve toyed with in their mind.
We’d talk about what we’d do if we won the lottery. Almost everyone’s first answer was to quit their job. Many people had side businesses, for some extra cash and maybe also for some extra dreaming. You make a few hundred bucks or more with a side business, it’s easy to think about that income replacing your 9-5 job…
And honestly, there were some amazing people and great ideas in that company. Most likely, none of them will never come to fruition and that’s a shame.
The people I associate with today are more or less the same as those from the past. The one big difference being that they took those ideas and manifested them. They didn’t let anything hold them back. They just ran with it and found a way to make it happen, not stopping for self doubt or excuses.
Risk-takers? Perhaps. Many things could have gone wrong, and many things still could for any of these entrepreneurs. But they’re the happier ones. The happiest. We all have to get up every morning and go to work, and work hard. But what a huge difference it is to wake up every morning and go to work doing something you not only enjoy, but arepassionate about.
Part-Time vs. Full-Time Fulfillment…
Looking back on my journey so far, that would have to be the biggest lesson. No matter what I’m currently working on with my students, and with internet marketing there are certainly a lot of details, it always comes back to that. What are you passionate about? I urge every one of them to not get caught up in making money off of whatever the current trend is. Because one day, they will wake up and it will be a job. They won’t enjoy it and they’ll do it because they feel they have to – or they’ll just quit.
Think long term, I tell them. Not just about the next year or two, but the next 20-30 years. Think about your life. From my experience, most people are working in careers that they don’t enjoy, that they have no passion for. This is the ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ and ‘I Hate Mondays’ crowd.
This crowd tends to fall into one of two categories:
Those that have made what they are passionate about into part time hobbies
Those that have given up entirely on their dreams and passions, and no longer pay them any attention
You know these people. You maybe are one, or have been one. I was one of them, too. My job was maybe challenging intellectually, but it didn’t address the passion and desires I had within me. It didn’t address my mission. So I’d look to fulfill that restlessness through hobbies and other various outlets. The problem with that is that my full time passion was relegated to a couple of times a week.
People do this with volunteer work, night classes, clubs and organizations. If you talk to some 9-5ers, you’ll discover some amazing talents and hobbies that they keep. And when you do, ask yourself the question ‘Why isn’t their full time passion their full time job?’
Our Dreams Aren’t For Us Alone
I think we owe it to ourselves and the world to go after our passions. To LIVE our passions. And to support anyone that dares share their dreams and passions with us. You don’t have to understand how they’ll do it, or even think it’s possible. But that’s not up to you and that is not your role to make that decision. Just tell them they can do it. Be bold enough to be the first to instill that belief in them, and they will in turn be bold enough to go out and do it.
Let them figure out how. That’s part of their journey.
It is my absolute belief that we should all go after what we are passionate about. What will excite us about waking up in the morning and not want to go to sleep at night. To not let our dreams die in our mind. Again, we owe it to ourselves and to the people that we will affect with our talents and our vision.