“Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me.” Carol Burnett
I am not an expert at being successful with start-up businesses or life in general. I am also busy risking the trial and error process so I can reach mine. I am finding my life same as million others do every single day. I lost. And I learn. A lot. And I still keep on learning. A lot. Dreams are the ideas our mind creates, it is up to us how to make it to reality. It can be a desire to be promoted to a higher position, get the job in a dream company, marrying your partner, making your own family or (for the benefit of this post) setting up a business. This is what I learned so far.
Realize what you really want to do. Can you see yourself still satisfied with your business even until your retirement? If so, then most probably it is your calling. You will just end up with less money, wasted time and effort if you try to make all your ideas (with different genres) materialize. It would seem that you are only as confused as your many dreams.
Having the SMART attitude. No, it is not about being a topnotcher in school. Take note, not all “school-smart”/honor students have succeeded in their chosen paths. It is highly likely that medals and awards are not the key to succeed but a proper attitude. Unless you would like to brag about your medal for the next 10 or 20 years of your career — I’m still not really sure if that would matter. Most of the people on top of the corporate ladder are regular students with no honors but with a lot of determination and confidence. This is reality.
So for us average people S.M.A.R.T. attitude in starting up your business is, once you have an idea in mind, assessing if it is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. I learned this from when I was attending an MBA class and I think this is a great tool for us to reach our dreams.
Specific means having a specific goal that mostly answers the six “W” questions — who? what? when? where? which? why? There are thousands of ideas running through our minds every second, one minute you feel that you have the “aha” moment but then later on found out that it is not what you really are passionate to do. So you have to figure out which one will take the throne of your specific goal.
Measurable means establishing a criteria that will help track the progress of getting close to your goal. This usually answers the question, “how?”.
Attainable means developing skills, attitudes or financial abilities in order to attain your goal. We are investing our time, effort and money in order to This process, for me, is where we start to move one step forward. We either attend seminars or classes which is related to the attainment of your goals. Through this experience, we may hear first-hand from successful people on how or what they did in order to be successful. You might also get acquainted to someone who can later on help you on your business and so on.
Realistic means having a goal that you have the ability to work hard to and you are willing to work hard for it.
Timely is simply having a time frame on which you expect the steps in attaining your goal are accomplished. “Someday” is not a time frame.
Allow yourself to experience the hardships. Never rely on the resources of others. Make a move first, it’s your dream anyway — not theirs. No one will do it for you as they are also busy building their own. They also have their struggles and hardships, that making them carry your dreams may give them more burden and occupy a lot of their time (since it is not their dream). Every human being walking on earth have their mission to accomplish. Wouldn’t it be rude giving them yours for them to start while you sit there waiting for it to succeed and get disappointed when things didn’t work out as you expected? When you reach the end of the road, won’t it feel so much better when you look back and be thankful that you have experienced all the wrong turns first-hand? It will be beyond fulfilling, I would guess.
Get along well with others. This is not only applicable with start-up business, this is a day to day moral values for us. We should always respect others and treat others equally. There is no room for judgmental thinking. We do not want negative karma to be knocking on our door asking for payback. Having to get along well with others not only invites positive vibrations but also, who knows these people might be of great help to your business someday. Being nice to people is not that hard. People around you are instruments from heaven to help you achieve your dreams, even the ones who you just happen to chat while waiting for a bus. You may not know it but it is true.
A little bit of luck. Have you heard the famous adage – success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration? Despite our hard work, we also need a dust of luck. But for luck to come by, we should prove that our efforts are sincere and hard work consistent.