“The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be.”
“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty. I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.”
“It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.”
You already have everything you need and you don’t have to give up anything to get more.
When I first started building this website, I constantly felt like I was missing something. I felt like I was pretending to be an entrepreneur. I felt like an imposter. I worked furiously to get to where I needed to be before anyone noticed. I was convinced that there was some ladder I had to climb, like I needed to be somewhere else. I also felt like I had to fit into a certain mold, like I needed to be someone else. I thought I had to fulfill a list of requirements to be an entrepreneur: 1) quit my job; 2) do everything on my own; 3) buy a high-priced mentor specializing in entrepreneurship development; 4) get famous bloggers to follow me and comment on my articles; 5) make 10 million dollars selling something. I still haven’t fulfilled any of these requirements. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned this last year is that real entrepreneurship development involves thinking inside the box, moving laterally, and building your dreams around your current position in life.
Manage your perspective. Supreme flexibility in perspective and process is the trade secret of successful entrepreneurs. In particular, it’s your ability to tamper with your own viewpoint that will bring you victory and help you develop leadership skills. No matter what you’ve chosen as your purpose in life, learning to manage your perspective will bring you closer to achieving your goal. Most people maintain a very limited perspective. Either they have convinced themselves that they lack what they need to be successful, or they simply do not believe they are capable of being successful. Other people have an extremely broad perspective but have lost the ability to focus, or limit it. These people remain lost in a sea of options and are often overwhelmed by life’s possibilities. Understand: maintaining your new direction in life relies on your ability to expand and limit your perspective at will. You must learn to manipulate your perception and maneuver your outlook in whatever way helps you fulfill your purpose in life. This does not mean that you lie to yourself or bury your head in the sand. It means that you see all available opportunities, seizing those that serve you in a positive and productive manner.
Think Inside The Box, Move Laterally
You are the box. When I started blogging and creating online products, I felt like a phony. I felt like I had to get somewhere else and be someone else. Why? The problem was I was looking vertically and trying to think outside the box. One day, I realized that the box I was trying to climb out of was myself. Everything changed once I started to think inside the box and move laterally. I started seeing myself as an entrepreneur “right now,” using the things I already had at my disposal to initiate change. I learned how to be resourceful and self-reliant in my entrepreneurial pursuits. I stopped trying to replicate the mythical images I had in my head of the perfect entrepreneur. Instead, I started expressing myself authentically and building my pursuits around my biggest strengths. I also started looking at the relationships I already had to get things done instead of trying to make the perfect connection.
All you need is within you now. Resourcefulness is the ability to use what you already have to get what you want. Self-reliance means you can count on yourself, or who you are “right now”, to achieve your goals and fulfill your purpose in life. This includes counting on and investing in your current relationships rather than looking for someone new to hold your hand. The first questions I used to ask myself before starting a new project were, “What else do I need?,” “How can I get this done in the future?,” and “Who can I find to do this for me?” Now, when I start a new project, the first questions I ask are, “What do I already have that will help me get this done right now?” and “Who do I already know that can do this with me?” These simple shifts in my perspective completely changed my life. The key to this shift was changing the questions that I was asking myself. Questions have the power to not only change your perspective, but also to help you increase happiness, generate influence, and improve self-confidence.
Turn your focus inward and sideways. Changing my questions helped me shift my perspective from outside and vertical to inside and lateral. First, I started seeing the value in what I already had. Instead of immediately assuming that I needed something new or needed to meet someone new, I started assuming that I already had everything I needed. Second, I started seeing myself as being able to take action towards any pursuit right now. Instead of assuming that I wouldn’t have the tools I needed until some future time point, I started assuming that I had everything I needed to start “right now”. Third, I started seeing my relationships as opportunities for collaboration. Instead of assuming that people were only interested in having work outsourced to them, I started assuming they were interested in building something together. These shifts in my perspective helped me focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses; my knowledgebase, not what I didn’t know; my network, not who I didn’t know. Learning to remove the limits from your life will not only help you expand your purpose driven business; it will also help you deal with haters and develop leadership skills.
Build Rome Around Your Safety Net
Working without a safety net is overrated. You don’t have to give up your job to be an entrepreneur. The biggest misconception of entrepreneurship development is that there will eventually come a point when you have to give up your day job. Why? Why can’t you do it all? Over the last few years, dozens of books, blogs, and businesses have promoted the idea that you need to “fire your boss” in order to work for yourself. As a result, many people think that they can’t be real entrepreneurs until they give up their jobs. This perspective is extremely limiting. In today’s world, many businesses promote an entrepreneurial mindset. People with a can-do attitude who start their own projects are promoted faster and given more freedom. The most well-known example of this is Google’s 20%-time rule. Google allows its engineers to spend 20% of their time on projects that directly interest them. In other words, Google engineers spend an entire day’s worth of company time working on whatever they want. Google pays them to be entrepreneurs. This 20% program has produced hit products including Gmail and Google News. Just as a company can build on your interests, you can build an empire on your company’s interests. Shift your perspective. Start seeing your job as a medium through which you can fulfill your purpose in life. Keep your job as a safety net and build your interests around it. Be a massive success in both business and entrepreneurship.
Do it all. Have a whatever-it-takes mentality. Throw as many things against the wall as you need to in order to fulfill your purpose in life. You can always narrow your focus later. This mentality requires you to stay on guard against limiting your perspective unnecessarily. In other words, limit your goals, not the ways in which you can accomplish them. Keep your mountain peak fixed, but keep your route to the summit flexible. Most people set a goal and then restrict themselves to one set way of accomplishing it. This mindset is absurd. If your goal is to travel abroad and help sick children, don’t refuse an opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital in India just because you saw yourself volunteering in Indonesia. Go to Indonesia next time.
Remove your limiting beliefs. Understand: your perspective is based on your belief-system. If you believe there is only one way to achieve your goal, then you limit yourself to that one option. But if you believe there are a thousand different ways to achieve your goal, then you have a thousand different options. This is why it is so important to stay flexible in your processes. Set your principles in stone, not your processes. Believe that you have every process at your disposal. Believe that you don’t have to give up anything to achieve your goal. Attack your purpose in life from every angle. Keep your safety net. Bloom where you are planted. Give up nothing. Do everything. In my next post, I will show you how to maintain your new direction in life by investing in yourself and others.