2015 was a rough year. You may have noticed that I went MIA for a while, and for that, I apologize. I had some pretty tough hardships to overcome, and learned a few important lessons along the way. So I thought I’d start the new year with a different kind of post. This isn’t another blog about my goals or resolutions for 2016; I think we already have enough of those. I’ve decided to give you some tips on overcoming hardship in business and in life, in the hopes that my struggles will be of use to you as you make headway on your own goals during the months ahead.
Before I dive into the 4 main lessons I’m going to give you though, I think it’s only fair that I describe some of the hardship I’ve had to overcome, just to put it in perspective.
First, my income took a turn for the worse. I’d started working with a new concrete construction business back in July, and he ended up going out of business. Without a solid back-up plan, and with my bank account dwindling fast, I got desperate and ended up looking for a J.O.B. Not something any entrepreneurially-minded person wants to do, but sometimes such is life. I figured it was a decent short-term solution until I found a better business venture.
I landed a job making a pretty decent salary, but on my first day of work, I couldn’t find the keys to my car. I spent two hours turning my house upside-down in an effort to find them with no luck, so I called my new employer and explained the situation. He told me I should have been prepared for something to happen and not to bother coming in. Back to square one. Meanwhile I had to order a car key replacement with virtually $0 in my bank account…
Lesson #1: Be prepared. Hardship is bound to happen. There’s no getting around it. It’s a regular part of life and I’d argue that it keeps things interesting and makes you stronger, as long as you make an effort to overcome it. It’s important to prepare your mind, and your bank account, for emergencies.
I figured that everything happens for a reason. Maybe I wasn’t meant to have a J.O.B. So I went back to the drawing board and began planning my next business venture. I met a life coach and decided I wanted to walk down his path. I’ve always been good at teaching and maintaining a positive attitude — two criteria necessary for any successful life coach. And that brings me to lesson #2:
Lesson #2: Stay positive. I know it sounds like a cliche out of a self-help book, but this is something many people struggle with and the #1 reason why a lot of us give up on our dreams. One thing goes wrong, and we’re apt to throw ourselves a pity party and stop chasing the things we want.
One way I stay positive is by writing motivational quotes on post-it notes and hanging them up on my bathroom mirror. I start and end every day with a positive thought, and it really helps me maintain focus throughout my workday.
Lesson #3: Take a risk. You’ll never get to where you want to be if you’re not willing to step out of the box you’re in. It was risky to start a business as a life coach. Life coaches don’t make a lot of money right off the bat. It’s difficult to differentiate yourself among the crowd, and difficult to build and maintain a steady client base. Life coaching is a relatively new practice, and there are a lot of people getting into it. Even though I firmly believe the world needs more of us, the supply & demand statistics would suggest otherwise… You must be willing to do something that other people will tell you you can’t do, and allow their negativity to propel you forward even further down the path of your passions. Speaking of passions…
Lesson #4: Pursue them! Don’t worry about how much money you’ll make. I’d rather make less to do something I love than make millions to do something I hate. And when you’re doing what you love, you’re a truly rich man (or woman.) Be passionate, and the people around you will be passionate as well. They’ll want to follow you on your journey and may even be willing to pay you to help them walk their own path successfully too.