How to Survive Any Storm in Life and Succeed
Believe! Believe in yourself. You are in the driver’s seat of your life and the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror. No one is going to save you but you. Meditate, pray, light candles, but you must put the action in place so the universe can reflect your thoughts back to Earth. Your parents weren’t in your life, you weren’t taught financial literacy, so what! “
He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right. (Confucius) In today’s age of information you have no excuse not to be self-taught. Write down small goals, and long –term goals. Aim for astronomical dreams, the type of goals where people call you crazy. You’re crazy just for trying. You’re crazy for missing sleep, for missing all the club parties. Let them think you’re crazy while you outwork them. Grind even when the dream is cloudy.
Even if it rains, eventually the sun will rise once again. The universe is pitch black, but the stars still shine. Stay away from toxic and negative people. These are called vampires of dreams. They will do everything in their power to stop you. I fell asleep and drove off a bridge in an 18-wheeler. Landed on the tracks and was hit by the train. I ended up breaking my back on crutches for two years.
But I still did not give up! Sometimes our goals will take five years or even ten years. But eventually your dreams will become a reality. Success is like the most potent drug on earth. I want to be successful so bad I can literally taste the stars! A job is just over broke, I’m not comfortable working for someone else, I’m not comfortable clocking in for someone else. It’s a mindset; whatever’s inside you must push you to become the
“Master of Thyself”. “Man, know thyself, and you are going to know the gods”. Egyptian Proverb
As per the Oxford dictionary, An Entrepreneur is, ‘A person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit’. This simple definition is filled with countless complications no one can ever predict. But still, Entrepreneurship is an aspirational ‘Tag’ everyone wants to be associated with. But not everyone succeeds in it. It requires a varied skill set and again, it does not guarantee any success. Some experts say that an Entrepreneur is ‘Born, Not Made’, while other experts say that they can be made with the perfect ingredients. Both the arguments are so strong that neither can be completely confirmed. An Entrepreneur can truly be defined only by the qualities he possesses.
Some of these qualities are inborn while some of them are acquired, but in both the cases, he can become an entrepreneur if he has or acquires some important qualities. Some of these significant qualities are as: Risk taking ability is often misunderstood as ‘jumping before they thinking’. At least this is what a layman thinks about the concept of Risk Taking. In fact, such a risk if taken can be harmful. Entrepreneurs are a different breed altogether. They are not Risk Takers, but ‘Calculated’ risk takers. There is an extremely important and simple difference between the calculated and non-calculated risk. The difference being the result/output you can expect.
The probability of success of calculated risks is far greater and rewarding than mere risks. You take prominent examples like Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, and even Elon Musk, they all are damn good risk takers. But in hindsight, study the risks taken by these leaders, they have always been calculated risks. They studied, researched and risked everything at the perfect time to succeed. They are where they are due to this strong ability. Risk taking ability is basically dependent on two big subsets of fear of failure and knowledge. Both of these qualities are inversely proportional to each other. More knowledge the less is the fear of failure and vice versa. So, you know now, what eliminates the fear and boosts your Risk taking ability.
As they rightly say, ‘Knowledge is Power.’ Decision-making ability is an important aspect of every entrepreneur and it is one’s ability which is used daily and multiple times. It has to be carried out with the same focus and swiftness as the first decision you make on any particular day. But unlike many other abilities, this is an ability which deteriorates as you make multiple decisions. Focus should always accompany the decision making as it helps the decision maker to concentrate on the matter at hand. There was an interesting study on decision making which goes as: The question raised in the study was ‘Why do most of the leaders wear similar type of clothes to all occasions?’
For example, you always saw Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs in a black round neck t-shirt and blue jeans, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg always wears a gray T-shirt, US President Barack Obama always wears grey or blue suits and even the famous physicist Albert Einstein, who reportedly bought several versions of the same gray suit.
The reason for this phenomenon is Decision Fatigue. It is proven that as the number of decisions you make increases, the quality of decisions decreases. This is because after some time the brain just stops to function productively. Albert Einstein had stated that he didn’t want to waste brainpower on choosing an outfit each morning. Barack Obama said, “You’ll see I wear only grey or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down my decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Mark Zuckerberg came up with a similar reason.
“One less frivolous decision in the morning leads to better decisions on things that really matter.” Decision making is closely associated with the swiftness of the decision. Instead of wasting time on matters of less importance and making an important decision quickly will ultimately lead to wrong decision making. The Decision Making Ability is closely associated with the Risk Taking ability and even its subsets of Fear and Knowledge. But what differentiates the decision making is the fact that it involves swiftness. The risk is something which you can minimize as the time goes by gaining more knowledge about the problem at hand. Here Time is our friend, but this friend turns completely evil when it comes to Decision making. As time passes by, each second counts and more the time lost, harder it is to decide and ultimately there is nothing to decide about as you have already lost you a chance to succeed. Think of the Auction Market as an example and you will understand the concept pretty easily and swiftly.
Self-Motivated & Optimism
Considering the first two qualities this is a seemingly simple quality but very hard to incorporate in ourselves. These qualities are core within our hearts and habits that even though we try to be discreet, they just don’t come out fluently. Every time you are faced with a situation you need to remember to think as optimistic. Self-motivation and Optimism are something which every entrepreneur needs in abundance as he may not get these from his peers or even his supporters.
Even friends, relatives, and family wait till a threshold and then they too start nagging the entrepreneur to forget his dream and look for a ‘Job’. This is the crunch time. The make or break time when many will crumble and forget their dreams but there will be that handful who will ignore the negativity and follow their course to be successful. The only thing which will stay with them will be these two essential qualities. Whenever anyone talks about optimism, everyone is reminded of Ma Yun a.k.a. Jack Ma.
Jack Ma is the founder of the Chinese E-commerce giant Alibaba and is a stakeholder at Alipay, which is an e-payment portal. He is officially the richest man in China. Many may still not know much about Alibaba but just simple facts will be enough to understand the scale of Alibaba’s operations. Alibaba is worth more than Facebook, and it processes goods more than Amazon and eBay combined. So who exactly is Jack Ma? Jack Ma was a commoner who rose through the failures to emerge victoriously. Early in his childhood, Jack Ma failed in his primary school examinations twice. He again failed thrice in his Middle Schools. During his admission to universities, he failed the entrance exams thrice.
He had even applied to Harvard University and he applied to it 10 times but was rejected every time. During and after his graduation degree education, Jack Ma failed to get a job and got rejected as many as 30 times. In one of his famous interviews he said, “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job. Twenty-three people were accepted. I was the only guy who wasn’t.” He also tried to enroll in the Police force but out of the 5 applicants, he was the only one rejected.
He was told, “You’re no good.” After so many rejections he thought of starting a business but there again he went on to fail twice in his first two ventures. But optimism and persistence saw him through and after convincing 17 of his friends to invest and join him in his e-commerce venture Alibaba, he climbed the steps of success. When asked about his rejections, Jack Ma replied, “Well, I think we have to get used to it.
We’re not that good.” Overcoming the pain of rejections and treating rejections as opportunities to learn and grow was what Jack Ma made of it. Much has been said and written about Motivation, Optimism and Persistence and the same is read by budding entrepreneurs but still we see many failures and rejections. Why does this happen? Are the true stories false? Is it something easy to understand but hard to enact in real life?
The answer lies deep in an individual’s heart and mind. Not everything can be quantified and not everything can be decided by our mind. Even today in the information/digital age we have to rely on our heart. This is what makes the difference. The belief that we will succeed is what is lacking in budding entrepreneurs. Somewhere down the line when things get tough, people lose faith and leave their dream and go back to their lives. If it was so easy to pack off your dreams then it is obvious that it was not your dream from the beginning. You were just running behind the glamorous tag of being an Entrepreneur. But the actual case is that when things get tough, think of it as you are making progress. Not everything in life will come easy and so just start to face the real hardships and not give up so easily.
Patience is often a misjudged aspect of an Entrepreneur. Patience seems like being laid back and waiting for things to happen. Some people even think patience is not an attribute of an entrepreneur but this is what most people fail to understand. Patience is the underdog among the various qualities of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs, by their inbuilt nature, are go-getters. They are highly unstable in their minds and move on from one thing to the other faster than a hopping kangaroo. Entrepreneurs want to change the world they live in and they want it to happen fast.
They want everything ‘Right Now’ but they don’t understand that ‘Right Now’ only comes after immense hardships. It is not an overnight journey where you don’t sleep and for the night and in the morning you reach the destination. It is days, months and even years of sleepless nights. What takes you through this cycle of endless days and nights is a small quality called Patience. When you understand what a beautiful quality patience is, you will learn to analyze every situation from a thoughtful point of view. It will be easier for you to understand that not everything can be rushed into and so your decisions will be more accurate, your mind will be stable and you will be able to focus on the innumerable things an entrepreneur is bogged down with.
Patience does not tell you to wait, but patience makes you calm inside as it constantly tells you to be slow and let things flow as per their speed and everything will fall into place. It’s about understanding this simple fact which will surely lead you to success. ‘Patience is the Key’ as they say. Who are ‘They’ when we speak such lines and quotes. ‘They’ always represents a set of people who have gone through a phase of life you have not. They are the ones who have faced some situations and somehow managed to find solutions and have been able to pass through to emerge through despair.
How many people have climbed Mount Everest? In a world population of around 7.5 Billion, only 4500-5000 people have climbed Everest till now since 1953. These 5000 people are the ‘They’ for telling you how to climb and cross the treacherous crevices, valleys, snow, cruel weather, etc. If such experienced people are sharing their knowledge then commoners must heed their advice and learn from them. Everyone understands the importance of Patience from their own perspective and acts according to his own whims but what really is needed is to understand it from the perspective of the experienced person.
Experts list down the 3 key instances when Patience is the Key:
Exploring New Opportunities
While developing your team
While building strong relationships
Business Foresight is to know how the world will pan out in the future. It is not limited to you alone, your geography alone, your company of business alone, or your product alone, it has to be a global view. Only a global view will enable you to understand your future. Narayana Murthy, an Indian IT industrialist and the co-founder of Infosys, pursued a career in Computer Science at a time when it was new and there was absolutely no scope for jobs in the sector. The Indian business was hard-core brick-and-mortar based. Narayana Murthy understood the global perspective and still continued to learn the computers and went on to build a well-known multinational corporation.
A much narrower approach would have led Narayana Murthy to a well secure job but not to the heights he is now. This is what foresight leads you to. Foresight is accompanied by Intuition. Foresight is rarely made on the basis of data. Anything forecasted on the basis of data is technically not called foresight. An Entrepreneur, almost always, has to act without a perfect backing of data and hence the importance of Foresight. Data will help you but it always leaves you high-and-dry when you need it the most. An entrepreneur will never have time to wait for some data to validate his foresight and if he waits for the same, then the boat may set sail without him. Foresight is an important aspect for entrepreneurs to succeed.
Readers will find numerous articles on qualities of entrepreneurs but the 5 qualities presented above are the core qualities through which other qualities stem out. Working and understanding these qualities will help budding entrepreneurs more than anything else. Another New concept is the concept of Thought Entrepreneurs. This concept can be viewed from the point of view of ‘Making an Entrepreneur’. While we saw the prominent qualities every entrepreneur must have but not everyone inherits those qualities. Some develop them over a course of their life through self-improvement or through life experiences. There are some things which come naturally to ‘Born Entrepreneurs’ like being extrovert, convincing power, decision making, grasping new skills, risk taking, etc. but for some these can be a huge task. These are qualities that can be learned by everyone.
We can call such an approach as the Fail-Fast Approach. We all have heard about Entrepreneurs planning their daily activities well in advance. Entrepreneurs are the sleepless beauties who are excited about their business all the time and want to give as much time and effort to it as they can. These people have something tangible to hang on to and make it big. They have something to show to the world and are constantly coming up with ideas to take their business to the next level. Almost all of such entrepreneurs follow a specific schedule so that they can perform better and set their priorities right.
But, these entrepreneurs have a tangible product in their hands which they can show to the world. What about the Thought Entrepreneurs? Who are they? Entrepreneurs are those people who have a business idea, which seems perfectly legible to them and it is the one which they have decided to bet on and try out. They are currently in the transition phase from the Ideation and Concept phase to the Implementation and Establishment Phase. In short, Thought Entrepreneurs are Entrepreneurs in their Mind but the tangibility of the product and business is yet to come. The transition phase is actually a long and arduous and also one of the biggest uncertain phases which are characterized by learning new things about the business with a vast scope.
You have to learn so many things which you may have never imagined, never dreamt of and even cared for but you have to do them now and that too with utmost conviction. Once you reach the establishment phase then there is no looking back and the journey gets into hyperdrive mode. You won’t have much time to think about new ideas and new processes to implement and change your plans. It’s all about implementation of your plans. ‘Thought Entrepreneurs’ are most vulnerable during this transition phase. They are very susceptible to views and feedback from close friends and family.
They are looking for positive assurances but they, almost always, get none and constantly strive to make their ideas into more acceptable ones; Ones which can be accepted by each and everyone. But this is not what your business wants, and this is the most important challenge for every Thought Entrepreneur.
From all these concerns it is important for all Thought Entrepreneurs to be busy in learning more about their business ideas and not get bogged down by negative feedback, but taking it in a positive stride. I am giving you a list of things/activities, and their advantages, which every Thought Entrepreneur should try to incorporate into his daily schedule to get their mind to relax and at the same time be focused on the business.
“You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something.”
Running is the best way to get away from all the undue attention you are getting at your home due to the job you left for starting up you own business, you don’t have any income source, new marriage proposals which the parents bring to you or talk about behind your back, just so loudly that you hear them in the faintest of voices. Get up early and go out for a run. It will not only give you an ‘Alone’ time but also will help you physically.
Also, one more thing I would like to add is, don’t hear music while you run. There may be countless songs for running motivation, but the best motivation comes from hearing motivational speeches. I have tried it and it really sets the day right. The early hours of the day are quiet and calm, make sure you hear these speeches while you run. They will help you start the day on the right foot (Converting Motivational Running Videos from YouTube into audio is the best source, Try it) Reading is another activity which is a must for every Thought Entrepreneur.
Reading here means Reading Books. We have numerous apps giving you the shortest possible news and this has impaired all the people of the reading habit. We cannot concentrate on the article for more than 10-15 minutes, an article of 400 words is the average count every reader reads, above 400 words the graph drastically falls and above 500 words hardly any person reads the articles and then only scrolls to the last paragraph to finish reading the article. Reading any book is preferred as it will give you solitude. Reading is proven to be a stress buster and at the same time, it makes you gain knowledge.
Reading any book of your preference will help but it will always keep you in touch with the habit which many successful entrepreneurs think is one of the most influential things in their lives. This is not all, a lot of new ideas can also be gathered from the books, it will improve your vocabulary, improve your concentration levels and even your writing skills. We have always heard successful people maintaining a diary, writing their everyday experiences and happenings in a black book. This Diary is not just to record your day, but to nourish and cherish the habit of writing something you experience.
Being a first-time entrepreneur, you will have to do many things on your own, and even write a lot of stuff about your business like your Business plan, your presentations, your website testimonials, your speeches at the Startup Events and even blog about your service. All these things have to be written. Outsourcing it is always the easy way out but how many will have the monetary capability to do that is the question.
Also self-writing about your business is the best way to understand your own business from the owners’ own perspective. Blogs are a great way to market your business and why not do it yourself, as who knows your business better than you yourself? Start writing small articles (300 to 400 words) before jumping to articles of 1000 words. I am an avid blogger and regularly write down my experiences and learnings.
Everybody loves to travel but their motivations are different, their means and ends are different and most importantly their experiences are vastly different. Travelling is always thought of as a way to enjoy with friends and family; take an ensemble of friends and just relax and be oblivious to the nature around you. This is not the trip which a Thought Entrepreneur should fancy. Entrepreneurs are Go-Getters, they talk, they explain, they convince, they motivate, they dream and they do anything they can to promote their business but who is the most important entity of every business; the Customer.
Who is your customer? How do you talk to them? How do you make relations with them? How do you nourish the relations? This is an important step for every entrepreneur. Only when you Bend will you be able to touch the ground and subsequently leap forward with greater vigor. Travelling Solo will help you to get away from all the world’s inhibitions. You are alone and you take your own decisions, you talk to people for directions, you ask people about the place, its importance, its history, to learn more about the place. In all this, it is not about what history you learn, what food you eat, what souvenir you collect, it is the experience you garner, and it is the tiny things you learn from such solo trips. The man is a social animal and when you feel the need to talk, you have the people there to talk to, to share your experiences and learn about their experiences.
A Solo Travel is one thing which every Thought Entrepreneur must definitely try, as this stage will allow you a leave but once you become a full-time entrepreneur there is hardly ever a time to complete your daily activities forget about traveling to new places (at least at the start where you are very much required 24/7). Try Solo Travelling to close-by places and simple one-day travels. Once you get yourself used to such traveling then you can extend the duration of your trips. Learning a new skill was pretty difficult till a few years back. But now with so many Edu Startups we have a vast knowledge skill set available in our hands at the click of our mouse and you can start learning immediately.
We have apps to teach us, online courses which even give us certification in various fields. These courses are completed in various durations and within a matter of a few months, you are equipped with a knowledge which you, probably, would have never even tried to gain in your lifetime. Video tutorials are available to teach you. These are non-certified but will help you learn certain things on a personal level. Even a skill like cooking can help you feel relaxed and give you a joy you never experienced. I learned how to cook and cook my own meals sometimes. The joy when the food is cooked, after all, the effort you put in, is just wonderful.
From learning infographics, coding, crafts, cooking, entrepreneurship, finance, negotiation skills, social sciences, languages, etc. almost anything and everything can be learned online. Another important aspect is to listen. It is said, “To be a great speaker, you first have to be a great listener.” We usually don’t like to listen to people as many of them talk about things which don’t matter to you. So the best thing to do is to listen. But listen to what? Listening to Audiobooks can be a welcome relief and an added bonus of being able to learn so many new things as you travel.
Audiobooks are now available on almost all topics. Famous books are also being converted to audiobooks. If you are not that much into reading or sometimes get bored reading, listening is the way to go. Search online and you will find numerous audiobooks free to download. Just listen to your favorite books and I guarantee you will never go out without an audiobook in your smartphone. When you set out to do something, you may find many obstacles that hold you back before you start. The unfortunate thing is that most of the time, it is not nobody drags you back but yourself. This is why motivation is a very essential aspect of self-help, especially with achieving set goals. Motivation is most important in helping you find pleasure in whatever you are doing, even if you don’t feel like doing it at first. Here are a few ways in which you can build your motivation.
Positivity is imperative in self-help; ensure you keep thinking positively throughout. Do not look more into what holds you back, rather, count your success and build on that to get better results. Making sure to flood your mind with positive things everyday can help. This reduces chances of negative thoughts taking a toll on you and crushing your will power. If possible, try not to see the obstacles that you may come across, but look deeper to see the end even before you start. That way you will stay focused and motivated to get to that far end. Smart goal setting is very useful in helping you see the possibility of whatever you are doing. It is usually wise to set large, but realistic goals, which gives you the spirit of wanting to do more every time.
This makes it easier for you to achieve better results every time. Once you have your goals set, you will feel the obligation to realize them, which can give you the drive you need to get going. Very useful that a simplified task is easier to achieve, not because it has been lessened; only that it appears easier than when looking at it as a whole. Try to break the task before you down into sections. Simplifying your task is very useful in making every bit seem simple and achievable, which gives you the urge to go for it. Getting started with the task ahead of you may be very intimidating. However, if you give it an intelligent approach, you will find yourself at the other end in no time. You can start with doing the tough tasks first, which boosts your confidence in doing the rest. Alternatively, you can give it a smooth take off by starting with the simplest tasks, then creating a flow into the difficult parts.
Quite often, the time may slip away before achieving what you had planned. However, even if you are lagging behind time, do not bully yourself into putting additional efforts, since this may lead to a lack of interest. Keep going with the pace that you can afford, but make sure you create a habit of timing yourself to avoid the tendency of being always behind time. Getting yourself motivated can be that simple, it all depends on how you think high of yourself and believe in your ability to achieve. Whether it is a single day task, a long-term goal, or about that purpose, you want to make in life, depend on how you weigh your strengths against your weaknesses. More importantly, how you don’t let your downsides get the best of you is all it takes in self-help.
You wake up, super hungry, looking for the next meal. This is how you are supposed to think every morning when you wake up. Today, there are countless losers in the world, accompanied by losing mentalities. The losers in question have no desire to see you become successful. Most human beings are not happy when someone, other than himself or herself, succeeds. This is harsh, but it is the cold reality. Many people will never bother taking the next step to make their lives better or improve the lives of future generations.
The fact that you have stumbled upon this book means that you want change. The chapter will give you tips that will help you have a better life; and it starts with your mindset. When a lion rises in the morning, he does not care what other animals think about his actions. He is driven. He has a goal and nothing can stop him until he attains it. He will pursue it relentlessly until he achieves victory. This is the same approach that you should have in your life.
Do not stop to worry about what other people are saying about you. This will waste precious energy that could otherwise be used to pursue your life goals. They talk because you have decided to make a change, something they cannot do. Before you go to bed, focus on the tasks that you have to complete the following day. This begins your hunger for the next morning. When you rise up, the first thing you think about are the goals to be hunted for the day. Make a clear list of the next day’s goals and make sure you crush them without compromise.
When you wake up, do not lie there feeling sorry for yourself because of a bad knee, headache, or because your spouse is mad at you. Leave that for losers. In whatever time you have given on earth, manifest the purpose to achieve all you have set your mind to. Do not let anyone’s opinion stop you. Goals are where you either win or lose the battle. If you do not have any goals, you are headed nowhere and you will remain in the same situation that you have always been in.
Keep negativity at bay, because just like excuses, it will slow you down and mess up your mindset for the entire day. Many people like to make excuses, but they will never take a step forward, walk out of their comfort zone, or start a business.
This right here is the reason why many people are comfortable being average. To rise above this, you have to be willing to do what others would not dare. When a lion is facing a cape buffalo, he knows he will destroy it even before he takes the first step. Your future generations are dependent on you just like a lion’s pride is on him. Use this same approach when faced with life’s huddles. Never have doubts, develop unshaken faith.
Outline your goals before you go to sleep.
Go after your goals relentlessly.
Stop listening to people.
Get out of your comfort zone.
Have your future and everyone dependent on you in mind when it gets tough.
Be a lion. There are enough sheep in the world.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.”