#1: Conquer your Fears
I’ve done some scary stuff in my life. Giving a keynote to an audience of 3,000+ people, or doing crazy-intense self-defense training scenarios (multiple assailants, all carrying knives and guns coming at me while hurling verbal assaults my way – good times!), or having a baby naturally with no pain meds…check, check and check. Some might say I thrive on fear, but what really drives me is conquering it. When I started my first business at age 23, it was one of the more terrifying milestones in my life. But once I began telling people, it got easier and I started to take myself seriously. And really, YOU are the hardest one to convince after all. Then something cool happens: Other “risks” in life don’t seem so scary anymore.
#2: Discover Abundance
I often give speeches on entrepreneurship, and many of my audiences are socially driven folks. I always begin with, “It is okay to make money. It’s MORE than okay! It’s your duty. And you’re not doing anyone any favors (including the people they serve) by living in scarcity.” This is hard for many to hear, as many of us have been programmed to think that a choice must be made: Make money OR make a difference. People are much more likely to give back when their needs are being met, and those addicted to the idea of “prospering is bad” are just being martyrs. Go get rich, then give back. You have my permission.
#3: Grow the Economy
Your new-found abundance will inspire other people, and this trickle-down effect is something the world desperately needs. As if our inner critics weren’t already scarce enough, we have the lovely media and government reminding us how broke and jacked up this country is. While ignorance isn’t the way to go either, just be aware that even negative news is sometimes hype. Often the better approach to looking at our collective financial situation from a place of neutrality. When you are a biz owner, you have the ability to prosper, hire people and contribute to getting our country out of this rut. But first you have to bust out of the paralysis.
#4: Design your Lifestyle
In a traditional job setting, we make lifestyle sacrifices in exchange for the consistency of a paycheck and benefits. This is not a wrong or bad choice – it’s just fact. And for some people, consistency is what they most value. But for people who are seeking more flexibility in their life, tremble at the thought of 9-5 or have an unexplained fear of flourescent lighting, entrepreneurship may be your ticket to happiness. You like to hike every day at 2pm? OK, do it. You woke up in a cranky mood that a 9am yoga class would surely fix? Buddha says yes! One of my greatest joys is riding my kiddo to his daycare a few miles away on my bike (he rides in a pretty bad-ass chariot trailer attached). For me, this freedom is one of my greatest joys.
#5: Work from Anywhere
Working virtually is the future, and for years my business HQ has been wherever my laptop and phone are. This could mean my house or a coffee shop or a beach…I’ve enjoyed great success with all of them as my base of operations. I tend to hire people that also thrive working virtually, with excellent results. Getting an office and having people work there is becoming more and more outdated (not to mention expensive), and smart businesses are recognizing that.
#6: Wear Whatever You Want
…or nothing at all, if that’s how you roll. Given my affinity for riding the child to/from school on a bike, you can guess I’m not at my cutest during conference calls. And guess what? WHO CARES!
#7: Make a Difference
When you feel free, when you are challenged, when you work purposefully, when you are living abundantly, when you are taking care of yourself and your family…it’s called good self-care. And just like on airplane emergency presentations when the flight attendants tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others, we need to get ourselves set before saving the world. When we take care of ourselves, we can better identify who needs us, how we can help and make more impact. Can you make a difference when NOT taking care of yourself? Of course – but it often leads to resentment at some point down the line. Take care of you, then take care of the world…in that order.