If you have been moving as slow as molasses toward your goals lately and cite lack of time or resources as the culprit, you are not going to like what I have to say. Not having enough time or money is not a valid reason for not doing something. Period. You aren’t doing it for one reason and one reason only: You don’t want it bad enough.
How do I know that? I know it because when you truly want something, all the way down to your toes, you will push, fight and climb your way over any mountain that gets in your way. You will make it happen. I don’t care what this “thing” is. It can be starting a business, buying a house, writing a book, running a marathon, whatever. Until you want something as bad as you want to be here on Earth, you don’t stand a chance of overcoming the challenges that you will face on your way there.
A Wake-Up Call
I was talking with a long-time friend recently who told me that her dream has always been to start a home-based scrapbooking business. She told me that, as a single mom, she simply cannot give up the income from her current job and is pretty much strapped for time between working a full-time job and caring for her two kids. She asked me if I thought she should let go of her dream.
I told her that her answer is simple, and it’s right in front of her. I asked her how bad she wanted it. Did she want it bad enough to give up sleep because she would essentially be working two full-time jobs? Was she willing to sacrifice some of her time with her kids because she simply wouldn’t be able to continue to be everywhere, all the time, for everyone? Would she tighten up her budget, cut expenses, and give up some of the luxuries she loves so she could save more and build up a cushion for if/when she decided to take the plunge?
She clearly hadn’t thought of it in those terms, which is not unique to just her. We all tend to think of an end goal or a dream as a big, fluffy cloud that is surrounded by rainbows and unicorns. Everything in our lives would instantly be perfect if only we could have ABC, or do XYZ. That’s called fantasy, folks. There is nothing wrong with dreaming, but at some point you need to return to reality.
It’s Not An Easy Answer
Going after your dreams is not a cut-and-dry decision. There are a lot of factors that go into a decision like this, but it ultimately comes down to your priorities and how hard you’re willing to work.
There is no right or wrong answer, but you DO need to get to AN ANSWER before you can take even a baby step toward your goal. You need to know what your priorities are and what your limits are. And you have to have a strong hold on the things that motivate you.
My friend decided that she wasn’t ready to do it. She simply didn’t want it bad enough, right now, to turn her entire life upside-down for something that may or may not be successful. That kind of decision takes guts. And it hurts. I was proud of her for making it.
And Now the Work Really Starts…
If you ask yourself the hard questions and decide that your dream is worth fighting for; that you’re ready to do whatever it takes to reach your goal; that you’re going to dig in your heels and gather your determination; that you’re willing to make sacrifices — good for you.
You may still be in for one heck of a fight, but you are most certainly in a better position now that you have discovered how bad you want this. Hang on to that fire and use it. You’re going to need it as you go after what you want.
This is totally true. I know lots of people who talk about doing things but never take action and someone is always “taking their idea” before they have time to do it. I have one friend though who has a mantra of sorts that says “Are you willing to pay the price to win?”. He had an idea and did some testing of it over a couple of months in the evenings. Then when he knew it was something he wanted to do and that he was willing to “pay the price to win”, he took 2 weeks off work and focused 100% on his project. Went back to work for about a month while he continued to tweak his business in the evenings and then he was able to quit his job. To succeed he knew that he needed to give up his vacation time for the year (and evening times for a few months) and go for it in order to be successful. So I guess another way to find out how bad you want something is to ask are you willing to pay the price to win?
I love that, Chris. The mantra and the idea of having a mantra. I think that’s an awesome way to stay motivated and focused on your end goal. Because it almost always WILL be hard work and that motivation is vital. Like Andrew Carnegie said: “Anything in life worth having is worth working for.”
Excellent, timely (and yes, difficult) thoughts. I’m finding my personal life littered with unfinished dreams and am working to remove some barriers that seem to get in my way.
There’s always the fear of failure to deal with, and I tend to be somewhat risk averse. But your point is on the mark – it comes down to deciding whether you’re willing to do the work it takes to achieve your goals. Risk and sacrifice are both a part of that process.
Thanks for inspiring me to take action rather than spend my time just thinking and dreaming.
Glad you found it helpful, Zan. And yes, fear of failure is a big one. It can be very hard to push through the fear. If you can use the fear, though, to make sure you’re prepared, have a contingency plan, and understand what you’re getting into — it can be a good thing (and much better than reckless abandon)!
Great post! one of the super things about social media is the ability to reach out and find people that want it as bad as you. As you point out, money can no longer be used as the excuse.
Yes, social media and other online networking opportunities have really lightened up many of the challenges that entrepreneurs face. One being lack of support and connections with other entrepreneurs who are just like you. That’s one of the reasons we started the Small Business Bonfire community — http://smallbizbonfire.com — to bring entrepreneurs together to share, network and learn from each other. And sometimes just to commiserate!
I needed to hear this today Alyssa- great timing! I am trying to decide whether to finally quit the part-time job that is giving me stability to focus full time on the business…you’ve given me motivation so thank you!
So glad it helped, Heidi. And good luck with whatever you decide!
Thank you for these words of wisdom. You are so right that it is a matter of choice, of deciding if you are willing to work to make these daydreams come true. If you make a go for it, you still might not make it, but you will NEVER make it if you stay on the sidelines.
I’m starting a new venture myself right now. I made the mental leap that I do want this, and now I’m carving out the time and the energy and the resources to make it happen. I’m doing it on the side for now, hopefully turning it into full time if the market I think is there ends up materializing.
It’s exciting and scary and tiring … but it is so worth it!
I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life: freelance writing, photography, started an ad agency, started a magazine and always was a dream of going off sailing around the world. My wife and I had assets to just sail away forever, we thought. . . until the financial crash took our real estate and stocks.
The dream was still there, a boat almost ready to go, but our finances were a shambles. So it has been several years of twelve hour days, seven days a week to rebuild (literally and figuratively). We’ve won back our stock investments, our rental properties are holding their own again, and I’ve pushed on, transferring my media skills into internet marketing.
The dream is getting closer and we know so much more and have built skills far beyond our former levels, making us even more self-reliant. But it is the mind, the mind-set, the thinking, the feeling of how it is going to feel burning (a bonfire?) in my consciousness that made it possible. Thanks for the article.