Chapter 1: Awakening (con’t)…the Rider
Once you proclaim even the slightest interest in starting your own business, you will begin to get advice from anyone and everyone. It will be well intentioned advice and it is tempting to want to do what other people tell you the think is best. But, if you only listen to what other’s are advising you will lose yourself. You must learn to listen from within.
The Trigger that Breaks Your Hypnotic Rhythm
My own entrepreneurial awakening was triggered by a loss that broke my hypnotic rhythm and forced me to face my life with a brutal honesty. I was unhappy, bored and lost. And I had no one to blame for my condition but myself. The cause of my deepest pain also sparked my great awakening. The loss of my Grandmother forced me to take stock and evaluate my life.
There was a lot of foundational work that happened before I was ready to take the leap and start my own business. Part of it was in changing how I saw myself. I went from wanting a job and seeing employment as the solution to my problems to taking ownership over my life. The other part was developing my understanding of what it meant to be an entrepreneur and how to start a business, a topic we will explore more with The Bike.
Defining Your Purpose
As I grieved I made a choice, to honor my Grandmom’s memory by evoking her spirit. This choice gave me a definiteness of purpose in my life. It gave me strength and resolve to persevere beyond the lackluster feelings I had because that is what my Grandmother did best. She lived courageously, with a childlike curiosity for learning even in the final days of her life.
This new found sense of purpose awakened a part of me that had atrophied from lack of use, my mind. I suddenly felt like there were new things to learn, and that excited me. I started reading non-fiction. I had more questions than answers. With every new experience and every new idea I refined my sense of purpose, my excitement for life grew and I stopped drifting aimlessly.
Everyone’s story of transitioning is different. For me it truly was something I couldn’t not do. But it did not happen over night. I spent hours discussing my plans with friends and family. I had to re-evaluate my priorities, including my financial needs. And I wanted to prepare myself for the transition.
In retrospect I can see how many of those efforts were futile. You try to predict what you need to feel confident in breaking out on your own, but until you actually take the leap your perspective is limited by your current reality! Once you jump, things become illuminated and you realize there is a lot that you do not know.
That said, I am not advocating that you blindly leap. Blind faith does not pay your mortgage, it does not get you health insurance and it is not a strategy for building a business. You know your needs and your capabilities best. Strive to better understand and define your expectations, then reality check them. Napoleon Hill wrote, “The non-drifter always uses caution…there is no such thing as over-caution…fear and caution are two entirely different things.”
Years before starting my business, my husband and I decided to live debt free and below our means. Even with our already low cost of living, we made sacrifices so that I could take this risk and start my own business. Things inevitably have taken longer than I anticipated, which is a common experience. But I have always been able to meet my family’s needs and the benefits of following my purpose have consistently outweighed the sacrifices. These are the kinds of choices only you can make for yourself!
Napoleon Hill’s controversial book, Outwitting the Devil was under lock and key since it was written in 1938. It was finally released to the public in 2011. Through an interview with the devil, Hill introduces the notion of drifters and asserts that 98% of the population are drifters. “A Drifter is a one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside his own mind.” Characteristics of a Drifter includes people that generally do not have a purpose in life, are ill-tempered, closed-minded, lack enthusiasm and unwilling to admit error. Non-Drifters on the other-hand are self-actualized, have a definiteness of purpose and posses integrity.
A treatise on life, Hill shares with readers the vital role that both fear and hypnotic rhythms (ploys of the Devil) play in holding us back from reaching our full potential. He goes on to assert that the way we are taught in school instills fear in us because we do not learn how to use our minds. Instead school teaches us to memorize the “right” answers. The antidote to becoming a drifter helps us overcome our fears. The first step is having definiteness of purpose followed by a daily effort to engage, exercise and grow our minds!
You have come this far, take it a bit further by deciding how to apply these ideas to your own life. Ponder these reflection questions.
What is triggering your own awakening and what are you doing about it?
What are you becoming aware of about yourself?
In what ways are you stuck in a hypnotic rhythm, mindlessly drifting through your life?
What is your life’s purpose and how are you following it?
I invite you to share your thoughts, reactions and suggestions in the comments below. Next I will share Awakening the Bike (knowing business)…