I have been told and have come to realize that I am a bit of an anomaly. I purchased my first home at the age of 19 and started my first company at the age of 20. (Well actually I started my entrepreneurial activity at the age of 12 but that is a story for another time) My reason for sharing this with you is to encourage you, motivate you and give you hope for the days when those closest to you don’t believe in you or have their doubts either about your abilities or the enterprise or endeavor you are going into.
Let me start by mentioning that I believe EVERYONE who engages the three “D”s of Determination, Drive and Discipline can become wildly successful in business! I am also keenly aware of the other “D” word which has derailed more entrepreneurs than any of us care to admit. DOUBT. Doubt is going to creep in on the most well manifested dreams and can overtake even the most committed entrepreneurs if we let it. Pushing past that doubt is what will make the difference in your future and determine if you are truly an Entrepreneurial Rock Star in the making. To inspire you, I’d like to share my story…
I moved out on my 18th birthday as a sign of my emerging independence. (I know you Entrepreneurial Rock Stars understand the drive I had!) At the tender age of 19 I decided I wanted to buy my own home and I set out to do just that. I had a good job (several of them actually), I had been saving for years and I was ready to make an investment. I went looking for a home and when I shared my excitement with others, their reaction was all very similar, “You’re too young!”, “You can’t afford that!”, “That is too much responsibility.” etc. Talk about taking the wind out of my sails! Now I will say, although these people qualified as “Naysayers”, they truly cared about me and were simply worried that I might make a wrong decision. Their concern for me caused me to feel doubt. “What if they are right?” oh no… here comes the dreaded “F” bomb… “What if I… FAIL?” I felt discouraged, frustrated and confused until I looked at the big picture and realized I had all I needed to make that dream a reality and the only thing holding me back was the lack of belief others had and my willingness to receive it. Lucky for me I am a bit stubborn and after hearing what they had to say, I reminded myself I had a good job, good credit and someone willing to sell a piece of property I wanted… so I did it anyway.
That was the first of many homes I would own and it was a great investment! Making good decisions (ones that end favorably for us!) gives us the confidence to make the next big decision, so I decided to start my own company. I heard the same negativity. “You are too young”, “People won’t take you seriously”, “You have too much financial responsibility”, and then the “F” bomb again “What if you… FAIL?”
No one likes to fail so it is sometimes easier for us as entrepreneurs to just drop those dreams instead of pressing on to face another “F” word… FEAR. We hide behind our own fear or the fear of others instead of facing it head on to become the Entrepreneurial Rock Star that lives inside of us. I decided to let my Rock Star shine by coming up with a new mantra to live by.
“Don’t tell me I can’t do it until I have already done it… then feel free to let me know.”
Don’t get me wrong, you need to be smart in business and weigh what you believe with the information others provide you with so you can make an informed decision, but then when you make the decision, GO FOR IT! Second guessing yourself will lead you down the wrong path and leave you feeling confused and anxious. Take responsibility for your choices and treat your dreams like the precious gift they are and protect them from the unwitting comments of the “Naysayers”.
I am happy to say this was another great decision and was the first of many companies I would start, build and sell. When you believe in yourself, others will too. CONFIDENCE IS CATCHING!
As a Christian, I truly believe that “I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength” Phil 4:13 so I know I can never actually fail. There will be set backs and there will be hurdles. I can tell you I have experienced plenty of them but those trials have brought me to the place I am today. People often ask me what advice I would offer a young entrepreneur that was starting out or that wanted to grow their business and I can honestly say… find a mentor. Finding someone who has already traveled the road you want to drive down will give you the keen insight to help you avoid many of the pitfalls most businesses experience which inevitably will increase your success! That is one of the reasons I started mentoring programs and the Entrepreneurial Rock Stars Facebook group. I want people to have a place to get support and encouragement with enough reality mixed in that they can make informed decisions on the best direction for their businesses. I love helping other people and offer a complimentary 20 min coaching session for anyone that wants a little help to #rockthatdream
Dream it, Believe it, Achieve it! – Vicki