Hi friends 👋,
Have you ever been told a variation of the phrase, “Entrepreneurship is too risky”?
This sentiment gets played out in various forms every day.
I first heard something like that when I was 16.
When my folks encouraged me to join the workforce rather than explore what I was interested in.
The truth is, they had good intentions. They hoped that I would find a direction.
They were both right and wrong. I did find a direction, a promising career and stability.
But I knew that I wanted more. I wanted to avoid being stuck in a routine job for the next 30 years. I needed a new belief system.
That’s when, at about 25, I started my first business – a failed printing service that didn’t understand or target customers correctly.
Some hard lessons learnt.
At 35, I started a financial services business and grew that for 12 years until I was burned out.
So I sold up, went on a sabbatical and focused on service. Here’s the recent podcast where I share my passion for design thinking and innovation.
You don’t have to wait until you’re 50 to have worked out how you want to spend your time. The trick is to have a framework to find your way.
Here’s how you can design an intentional life today.
Where is all this going, I hear you ask?
The scenario I have described is shared among numerous diverse people I have met, whether they are entrepreneurs, executive leaders, employees, consultants or students.
Either successful (in their terms) or wishing to be (in their words).
The differentiator is their belief system.
They believe they can:
- Design a meaningful career – a rewarding life
- Develop new talents – growth mindset
- Do hard things – grit
Sometimes, that belief is nurtured from a young age. Like when an executive told me, they were “Brought up to believe that the purpose of … is to change the world”.
For others, the belief needs more time. Like when a student told me, “A few people are getting the bug but don’t see themselves as entrepreneurs.”
As for myself, I always had grit but needed to develop new talents that worked towards a meaningful life.
Now, 5 years after selling my business, I’ve earned an MBA, gained new talents (innovation and design thinking), developed a meaningful career (helping startups and organisations build better human-centred businesses) and built relationships with new and exciting people.
All from changing my belief system.
And now, I’ve just finished teaching innovation by design to business master students.
Here’s what one student said:
“Until this course, I always viewed myself as a good Manager in someone else’s business. Now, I can return to my home country and start my own business.”
This is the power of a positive belief system. One where you explore your curiosities, grow and give.
Always remember that entrepreneurship, innovation (corporate or consultant), leadership or employment is not merely a career; it’s an ongoing journey of personal and professional growth.
Whatever course you choose, ensure it resonates with your identity and aspirations. Here’s to constructing meaningful lives and businesses.
Here are 9 things successful people do:
- Set Precise Goals: Avoid vague aims, like “lose some weight,” and be specific, such as “lose 5 pounds.” Specific goals keep you motivated and require clear, precise actions.
- Seize Opportunities: Act on your goals by planning when and where to do so in advance. This increases your success chances significantly.
- Monitor Progress: Regularly assess your progress to make necessary adjustments to achieve your goals.
- Be Realistic and Optimistic: Believe in your abilities while recognising the challenges ahead. Realistic optimism is critical.
- Focus on Improvement: Concentrate on skill development rather than just proving yourself. Embrace the belief that you can change.
- Develop Grit: Grit is the determination to pursue long-term goals despite challenges and predicts success in various areas.
- Strengthen Willpower: Exercise your self-control by taking on challenging tasks that require it.
- Avoid Overexertion: Don’t tackle two demanding tasks simultaneously; avoid temptation-filled situations.
- Focus on What You Will Do: Plan to replace bad habits with good ones, as this is more effective than trying to suppress unwanted behaviours.
⚡️ The Short of it
In summary, belief is foundational to getting the outcomes in life you want. Belief begins with Be:
- Be curious: Learn new information and meet new people.
- Be open: Challenge yourself to new experiences and thinking.
- Be generous: Pay it forward, just like your influencers did.
🎁 Resource Hub:
That’s all for today friends! 👋
If you learned something useful, would you share the newsletter with a friend?
And if you have an idea for a future issue, send ’em my way.
Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next week.
Keep future-state thinking,