Last week, we talked about what success looks like by looking at the definition of the word as given by Maya Angelou. If success is liking yourself, as Angelou said, then we have to take it a step further and ask what does liking yourself look like.
At the end of last week’s post, I asked you to fill in this sentence: I like myself most when I am__________.
Specifically, as it pertains to work and career. Our career paths are a huge part of our lives, and the story for most small business owners are born of dissatisfaction with the traditional structure of a job or corporation.
So what was your answer? You like yourself most when you are?
After you have figured this out, ask yourself what is my motivation?
I’ll give the example of myself.
I like myself most when I am WRITING, and I believe in the power of STORYTELLING to help and heal.
After you’ve answered those questions, dig deep into your desktop files, your Google Drive, or your physical file cabinet (I’m sure people still keep those, I know I do) and blow the dust off your résumé.
Now, carefully examine your resume for the experience you have that directly pertains to your answer to the first question (I like myself most when I am ___.)
Highlight those experiences.
I’m going to pause here and say that if you haven’t guessed it from the title and the structure of this post—this post is for those who are at a crossroads, the person who is sitting at their desk drinking coffee, checking email, social media and chit chatting with their coworkers to avoid actually facing Monday morning. The person whose Googlez consist of “quit my job” searches everything other week or day...this post is for you.
This post is about TAKING ACTION, carefully and strategically.
Theodore Roosevelt (politics aside) gave all sorts of amazing speeches, and he once said:
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the WORST THING YOU CAN DO IS NOTHING."
If you’re serious about entrepreneurship, particularly taking the leap of faith to go from structured pay with benefits to the windy road of self-employment, you have to do more than think about it. There is a mental and emotional shift that will happen in you and around you. And the worst thing you can do to yourself, is nothing.
After highlighting your relevant work experience (with the standard being actions that make you happiest), take out a notebook and write down what problem that solves.
For example, I heard Miss Jessie’s co-founder Miko Branch, speak over the weekend at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit. She spoke of the issue she and her sister had with finding hair products and how much fun they had creating their own in their kitchen. It then occurred to them that they weren’t the only ones, and they begin to produce the product in large quantities for others.
If you’re unfamiliar with Miss Jessie’s that’s OK, the point of the story is that they figured out a “pain point” for a large group of people and married their skills and passion to address that need. They now have a successful business with their products being sold in Target stores all across the country.
It is also important to remember that most large companies started out as small businesses, most often with one location and a small team...
JC Penny was started by entrepreneur James Cash Penny.
Macy’s was founded by RH Macy.
Disney, founded by Walt Disney.
And the list goes on…the point is, the only way we shape the world, is by shaping ourselves and living the best lives we can. So, if success is liking yourself, and liking yourself is living a fulfilled life—then how can we NOT take action? If you're doing nothing--you're not stagnant, you are falling behind...
After you recap the steps- take a look at this video. It's filled with loud screaming motivational quotes and violins that make you feel like you're in the locker room of life.
COMPLETE THE SENTENCE: I like myself most when I am ________.
ANSWER THE QUESTION: What motivates me? (Another way to put this could be: On the days I am happiest to get out of bed and start the day, what’s the reason?)
PRINT OUT YOUR RESUME, and start highlighting the experience you have that directly pertains to actions that make you happy.
IN A NOTEBOOK, ANSWER THE QUESTION: What problem(s) does the experiences highlighted on my resume solve?
Next, start doing research to find out if there’s a place for the problem your talent, passion and experience solve. Jot down the business ideas that come to you. Now, your Google searches serve a higher purpose than figuring out signs that it’s time to quit your job, because honestly the search in and of itself is the biggest sign there is.
So what resources, besides Google University, are available to idea-phase entrepreneurs? I’m glad you asked…we’ll share some great tools with you…on Wednesday!
Sneak Peek: TAKING THE PLUNGE PART 3: TOOLS FOR SUCCESS