For me it is in my DNA. My grandfather on my mother’s side was a successful attorney/entrepreneur during the Depression years. Influenced by her father, my mother encouraged me to follow my passion. Another event impacted my life decision. Graduating from college, like my classmates I went to work for a major company. A year after being there my mentor shared what a wonderful job I had done. He bragged about all the money I had saved the company from things that seemed obvious to me. My “big raise” came in just a bit over inflation. He shared that this was the maximum he was allowed to give.
Next he pulled out a chart and showed me my future salary progress. The first thing I noted was that by my early 40’s the slope of the progress line leveled out. Since he was closer to retirement, he pointed out you could predict with high confidence what my retirement would most likely be. That scared me. Did I want some outside force deciding my “worth”? The combination of the family influence and this corporate coaching event kicked in and set off my independent streak. I wanted to have more control of my future and my potential economic worth so I decided to abandon the security of a salary for the unknowns of being in business for myself.
There are consequences for this decision. I must strike the balance between current income demands and desires to invest in the future. There is also the allocation of time. One must sleep, eat, exercise and develop their spiritual life. It is a faith act to become an entrepreneur. Then factor in the desire to spend time with the family weighing into the time equation. What is left of a 24-hour day should be applied to your passion for starting the business.
Unfortunately, I observe many entrepreneurs doing things that drain them of energy. We buy our freedom to do what pleases us by delegating responsibilities to others more gifted in certain areas. That decision is one of the hardest for business owners to make. The negative thinkers say I can do it cheaper, faster myself. What they forget is that time doing draining work is a double-edged sword. You never can reclaim the time you spent on less productive activity.
Think about the math. If your efforts bring in $250 and you can hire an assistant for $25-30, freeing up one hour a day pays for an entire day of help. C.S. Lewis shared that courage is every virtue at its testing point. Believing in oneself and the ability to cover the investment in additional support is an act of faith.
In closing, I know having a vision gives you a target to shoot for. That has to be coupled with a purpose. I want to positively impact my clients’ lives especially in the area of finance. Smarter and more successful people than me have shared FOCUS as the single most important driver to keep in the forefront. Find joy in every circumstance, after all we only control our attitude.
Focus is when desire and discipline meet purpose and passion. Go for it!