There are few things more inspiring in life than seeing someone talking about their passion. There's something about sharing what they love that makes people light up: their energy levels rise, their speech quickens, their eyes open wider, and a big smile comes across their face. In many cases, these inspiring people are entrepreneurs, and their passions led them to creating their businesses.
Some of these entrepreneurs have gone on to achieve great fame and wealth. More importantly, they have made a positive impact in their communities and the world. However, before all of this success, these entrepreneurs were in a place not very different from where any of us start our own journeys. That's good news for the rest of us - it means we can all do what we love and live the lives we want to live.
So how do we do it? The list below chronicles 5 important pieces of wisdom that I've obtained from interviews and conversations with 100+ entrepreneurs around the world to help us answer that question. So let's get to #1...
1. Believe you can do it.One of the most over-looked benefits to becoming an entrepreneur is that it forces you to confront your own demons. While expanding on the different types of emotional barriers we can face is better left to its own article, here are a few general tips:
- Understand that YOU get to define what success means to you. You don't have to be Oprah to be a success! In fact, maybe you don't want/need that much money, attention, or time away from your family.
- Understand that your personal worth is NOT dependent on your career success. You are a perfect shiny-diamond today, and that doesn't ever change.
- Surround yourself with people that inspire and support you. It's true what they say - that you are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time.
2. Know what you love. Set aside some time to do the following exercise, even if you are a seasoned entrepreneur:
- Write down a list of your strengths. These should be strengths that others see in you, and would ask you (and maybe pay you) to help with.
- Write down a list of your personal values. When you live a life aligned with your values, you are happy and fulfilled. When others violate your values, you may feel upset. As an example, my values are Health, Truth, Privacy, Growth, and Family.
- Write down a list of your passions/interests.
- The career/lifestyle where the above lists intersect describes the entrepreneurial venture that you'll want to pursue.
3. Build the life you want to live. A good way to think about this is to start acting like a company, as this will give you a framework to work with:
- Write out your personal vision statement for your life (start it with "to be...").
- Write out your personal mission statement (start it with "to do...").
- Describe your own personal brand (what do you want others to think of when they think of you).
- Constantly review your behaviors for alignment with your vision, mission, and brand.
- Make planning a habit, and put EVERYTHING on the calendar. Your time is valuable and limited, so you'll want to make the most of it.
4. Do what you love. Love the journey, not just the destination. Successful entrepreneurs love to work on their businesses every day because they enjoy the challenges and they truly care about their customers. If money wasn't an object, they would still be doing the same thing with their time because they LOVE it.
5. Share what you love. One of the great things about being an entrepreneur is the chance to be part of the entrepreneurial community. You get to be surrounded with passionate people just like yourself that are a great source of useful connections, feedback, and ideas. Many entrepreneurs also find that they have complementary skills or business offerings and end up working together. So do yourself a favor: get out there and talk about your passion, and put that inspirational smile on your face.
Lolita Taub is the producer of The FSHOW, an online mini-series where 80+ female millennial entrepreneurs from 20+ countries prove that "doing what you love and living the life you want to live" is possible via entrepreneurship. When she's not traveling around the world for The FSHOW, Lolita loves to cuddle up with an e-book and a cup of tea. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband.