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The Truth About “Opportunity Costs” and Entrepreneurship

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“Opportunity costs” seem to be synonymous with entrepreneurship.

And living your purpose.

I, myself, used to think of it even worse…I called them, “The Lesser-Known Debts of Entrepreneurship
Why is that?

Why do we always think there has to be a loss in order to gain?

Call me an optimist, but I think it’s more than just being optimistic (more on that later). Perhaps it’s this “costs” perspective alone that leads to the high failure rate of entrepreneurs. Or even why we have so much fear to begin with. We’ve all been there before…

  • The fear of not being good enough
  • The fear of missing out
  • The fear of what others think
  • The fear of the unknown
  • The fear of change

We could talk fear, and struggle, and pain and problems for what seems like forever. At least, that’s what we see portrayed in the media. I can pretty much guarantee you’ve experienced it on social media more often than not.

Why is the opposite so rare?

The Truth About “Opportunity Costs”

If happiness is a choice then why can’t we look at this situation the same way. Instead of thinking about the “opportunity costs” associated with building your dream life, why not consider the “profits of possibility”?

What if you could decide?

Just like happiness, it’s a choice. Right?

Well…you CAN!  Let’s look at this a little further.

As I write this blog (fending off writer’s block) the NFL season is kicking off (I LOVE football!).
It would be easy to think as though missing game day (while I write) is an opportunity cost.

And it’s not just the game others would tell me I’m missing.  I could say another cost is missing the relaxing down time on my couch. I’ve heard many colleagues say they miss time with friends and enjoying their favorite beverage at their local sports bars.  That could be another cost of me writing.

According to them…On a Sunday, the day of rest, never the less.  I’m “grinding” through work.

I don’t think it’s a grind at all (at least not 95% of the time). Actually, it’s designed that way on purpose.

I made the decision.

You can TOO.

The Profits of Possibility

Now what are the profits of thinking about what’s possible?

Here’s a few:

  • There are so many benefits of writing alone. Just in a few years as a professional writer I’ve experienced improved personal clarity, professional credibility and have even received a significant financial return for it (both directly and indirectly).
  • Looking at the profits and possibilities instead of the costs could continue to shift my own outlook on life leading to less stress, more happiness and even fulfillment.
  • The possibility that this one piece of written work could change someone’s life, improve a business or transform someone’s mindset.
  • That business or individual could go on to buy my programs or services in which helps to take care of my family, invest in my business and cultivate the retirement portfolio I need to enjoy a retirement of family time, travel adventure and more.
  • That individual or business I just mentioned could go on to solve a major world problem, changing the trajectory of life for millions of people.

Just writing these and reading through them again, there’s an energy that comes with living out your ambition and having the right motivation. Instead of the emotional drain of costs, profits and possibilities ignite that fire inside. It rekindles the natural desire to BE more, DO more and GIVE more.

Your deep personal and professional convictions come alive.

And it all comes with viewing things as possibilities rather than problem; profits rather than costs.

The Truth About Entrepreneurship

There is no wrong path if you know where you’re going. There are only different ones.

Sure there are fundamental principles and best practices. But, how you apply them and when and what you emphasize in your business can vary in any number of ways.

I’ve seen clients and colleagues make it happen all in different amounts of time, with different skill sets and a variety of processes. I’ve experienced it myself.

Your journey right now may seem long with some fun peppered in.  Another individuals may be exciting, but grueling.

The variables of success are many.

It’s not just about optimism. I wish it were that simple, but it’s deeper than that.

It’s a belief in self, faith in other people and a tenacious commitment to something previously unseen.

It’s more than pursuing your passion or chasing your dreams.

And it’s all in cultivating possibility.

Entrepreneurship is a deep conviction that something extraordinary will happen.  Being an Entrepreneur is about creating what could be rather than thinking about what the costs will be.

Costs are not fun.  Live on the other hand should be.

Life is about believing in what is possible.  And Entrepreneurship should be a fun and purposeful path to get there.

If you BELIEVE in profits and possibilities more than costs, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it cultivate this belief in the minds of others by emailing this to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Thank you!

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If They Ever Tell My Story, Let Them Say…

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A legacy is about more than what you leave behind for your children. It’s a story about you, gifted to the world.

The Past…

It was an early spring morning not long ago…I was sitting on our old wood porch behind the house.  The cool spring air upon my skin went well with a hot cup of green tea. Holding my cup tight with two hands, the steam tickling my nose, I stared off into the woods; taking in all its beauty.

I marveled at birds singing, “dancing” squirrels and the sun breaking through the tree canopy. As my mind wandered, away from the hustle and bustle of today’s agenda, the peace and tranquility set in. It sent me down a perfectly timed path of broken thoughts pieced together in a question…

What will I leave behind?

History and Legacy…

I’ve considered this many times and in many ways, from Stephen Covey’s philosophy of “begin with the end in mind” to Darren Hardy’s exercise for writing your own epitaph. For me, this philosophy had always felt as though something was missing. I began to question that if I give my all to this world – the people, the community, my friends and family – for 50, 63 or 97 years, is that all I ever give?  If I live full, is the day I pass or the day I’m buried really the end?

My mind began to whirl and wonder if my family would soon forget about me. And if not my kids and grandchildren, what about their children? Would they know of me? As I pondered this question I began to mine through dynamic thoughts and emotional fireworks searching for clarity.

I continued to analyze this…digging deeper and envisioning bigger.  More questions stirred…

Will my actions echo across eternity?

Will strangers hear my name and wonder?

Will colleagues mention me when they say they’ve walked with giants?

I explored each ambition and examined every sentiment that saturated my mind. There it was…a vision of life in the world of my great-great grandchildren.

Once again, more questions…

Men rise and fall like the winter wheat, so how does a name live on?

How do I plant seeds, the experiences, the connections, the qualities, I hope my lineage harvests for years to come?

One more question hit before my cup of tea ran dry…

What could be?

A seemingly daunting and overwhelming question, but one that helped me to gain context and perspective.

Immortality…

Most people’s dreams and ambitions are a vision well below their potential. What I mean is, each and every moment we spend today is the creation of my very own history. Every path I take I’m leaving my legacy. Why not live it as though I will be remembered for centuries?

More questions arose…

How could I expand my great-great grandchildren’s vision? How could I amplify their ambition and help to cultivate their confidence? How could I paint a picture of the possibilities life truly holds for them?

Short phrases came to mind such as:

  • Live Better
  • Why Wait
  • Make Lasting Change
  • Have Fun
  • Solve Problems
  • Together
  • Be Radically Different

On and on I juggled the thoughts of how I’d like to be remembered.  There it was…

Immortality lays in unforgettable legend; a story that stirs the heart and sparks the mind.

The Legend Story…

If they ever tell my story, let them say…

How Tenaciously He Learned

He was inspired by a vision of future and what was he believed was possible. No matter people’s opinions or what obstacles along the way he was destined to find the answer. His deep desire to learn and the burning fire to excel would blaze the way to success.

The rich learning environments, progress checks and celebrated milestones were symbolic of his thirst for knowledge. Even when his life seemed “normal” he was constantly walking the line, on the edge of comfort, searching for spiritual depth, theoretical insight and practical solutions. He would seek new experiences to stretch, grow and bend the status quo.

New horizons were the answer to his inner needs, taming his passionate curiosity. The more he discovered the more he wanted to master. It provided him with a unique perspective, freedom and authenticity that sparked people interest.

How Bravely He Lead

He was a rebel, but not reckless, congruent and authentic. It didn’t matter how heavy the load of responsibility was he had an unbreakable aura of certainty and stability. He knew with confidence that he could solve problems, even the biggest and toughest ones. and intuitively new when to lead. And when to follow.

He didn’t fear change, he embraced it – it was the alley way to growth. Despite discomfort, he was poised under pressure and would inspire change; it’s like he knew how to engineer it. He would curate and cultivate ideas, create new paradigms and connect the dots. He’d lead others – his family, friends, his team and community – to possibility, shifts and awakenings.

He was energizing and enchanting, but was rarely hype. He was raw and real, unapologetically honest. He’d shoot you straight, with honesty and integrity, and it provided others with a sense of strength.

How Fiercely He Loved

He was sensitive to the emotions of others, but not enabling. He could instinctively sense the feelings of others, imagine their position, and step in their shoes. It’s how he would listen, its how he would connect.

He would transform and empower communities purely from love. He wanted everyone (and I mean everyone) to have fun and enjoy themselves. He helped them to experience health, wealth and happiness. He would say it’s his, “Quiet madness, and passion was the influence of a soul that’s mad to love.”

He loved the scent of freshly washed linens, life and laughter. He loved play. If it wasn’t fun it wouldn’t work out well for him. But most of all he loved his wife and family. They were his garden, baring luscious fruits of trust, care and support; all feeding his dreams.

How Consciously He Lived

He was a man of high self awareness and a strong inner compass. He didn’t allow himself to undertake in things that made him discontent or long for something more in his life. Instead, he lived in the context of his deepest ambitions, finding and creating impact along the way.

He challenged himself from beginning to end, through trials and tribulations, in the essence of adventure. He would make the important choices to detach self from the noise and live consciously. No matter the level of success he was a man of humility. No matter the depth of struggle he was a man of gratitude.

His deep appreciation for life some considered eccentric, but his humble heart, noble actions and high integrity is how he is remembered.

 

Please comment and share below how you’d like to be remembered.

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5 Powerful Tips for Living an Inspired Life

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We make it our goal to create content, materials and services which make people feel inspired. Why?  We believe in living an inspired life.  What I mean by inspired is a hunger for work, for play, and for life as a whole; a sense of freedom that grows from having insatiable creativity, a bold confidence and the unstoppable courage to pursue your passion.

An inspired life is personally exciting and professionally energizing. It resonates with your natural talents and is connected to your inner sense of purpose. An inspired life naturally brings increased fulfillment and a feeling of significance. You feel as though you are part of something bigger and more meaningful. You feel as though you are giving something back to the world.

An inspired life is not something you simply experience, it is something you create. You design it, you build it and you live it. Below are a few tips that I’ve found to be very powerful in helping others create their very own inspired life.

1. WRITE THE SCRIPT

This is often difficult exercise, especially to start, but we all have a vision of how we want to be remembered or the story we want people to share about us when we’ve passed.   It’s the scripted movie in our minds of what a happy, healthy and successful life looks like for us.

Take a moment to visualize your movie.  As you continue to paint a more vivid picture of each scene begin “writing the script”.  Napoleon Hill once said, “Reduce your plan to writing…. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.”

That being said, I recommend taking a ”finish line view” and begin at the end. Not to sound morbid here, but think of your life on its last day or picture your funeral and work back from there. Stephen Covey once called it “begin with the end in mind”.

Pro tip: Review this step after each of the following tips could be helpful. The end product should inspire you.

2. BE SUPERHUMAN (this tip was the hardest for me to do)

Your talents, strengths and desires all provide you with a unique and sometimes an almost superhuman source of energy. Your unique talents and strengths are so natural to you you often don’t recognize how different, influential and inspiring they are to others.

Other times you might be aware of your strengths, but take them for granted because they come so easy to you. Under-utilizing your strengths leads to weak and inconsistent performance. Understanding your talents and utilizing your strengths will unlock even better opportunities, paving a path to greater success.

Your passion also generates strong energy. Oprah Winfrey has expressed, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Pursuing your passion ignites creativity, courage and inspiration. Ignoring this energy and not doing what you truly desire can create the unsatisfying feelings of fear, fatigue and insignificance.

There are a number of different reasons why you become complacent, don’t pursue your passion and lose touch with your natural energy. When you do, where do you find yourself?  Instead of pulling toward the activities that excite and energize you you find yourself stuck doing things that exhaust you and zap you of your energy. You begin to avoid new and challenging adventures, miss out on fun and lose a sense of what ignites the fire inside.

Don’t ignore your superhuman powers; utilize the energy for your success.

3. FIND THE ONE.

Decide in one word or with a short personal motto the main reason why you live how you live. One word provides a focused, clear and concise description of your why. Describe the “why” behind your movie script and why you do what you do.

Choosing a why gives your dream a significant purpose and makes your vision compelling. In his book Start With Why, Simon Sinek states, “Great leaders lead with WHY. They embody a sense of purpose that inspires those around them.” Define your why and it will be the reason people initially connect with you, continue to follow you and remain loyal for years to come.

One word examples: Inspire (I can’t help it, I love this word.) Lead, Explore, Love, Innovate, Create, Success, etc.

Short theme examples: To ignite inspiration, To cultivate growth, To feel connected, To live abundantly, To enable greatness

4. BEGIN CONSTRUCTION

To transform your vision into action and begin building your dreams ask yourself:

  • HOW am I going to achieve my WHY? (These are typically the goals, objectives or milestones you set)
  • WHAT behaviors, systems, strategies, and solutions do I need to get the HOW done in the most effective and efficient way?
  • Do I have the knowledge and skills to achieve the WHAT?
  • (if no to #3) WHO must I become or what must I learn/change to achieve the WHAT or WHO in my network can assist me in this growth process?
  • What level of commitment am I?

5. REMEMBER THE NUTS & BOLTS

The integrity of an airplane is a must to ensure the safety of everyone on board during takeoff, flight and landing. All parts must be maintained, repaired or replaced and every nut and bolt must be in place so the parts fit together seamlessly for optimal performance.

We, as individuals, teams or businesses, are no different. We must be whole and complete to achieve our peak levels of success. Seamless integration is important if you want to perform at heightened levels of excellence.

Here is a little sample of how to streamline success:

The true driver behind all you do is feeling. Feelings are the nuts and bolts that hold everything together. We rarely seek the material, tangible, outside things; it’s the emotional, intangible, inside things we truly want to experience.

Yes, you have milestones you want to hit, goals you want to achieve and destinations to reach, but it’s not simply the house, money, job or lover that you want…is it? (If so, you’ll most likely never experience the inspired life).   What we live for are the feelings associated with attaining them.

Our journey is about fulfilling what I call your “innate ambitions” or your inner most desires that make these goals meaningful.  It’s these feelings that create memorable moments.

So when you set your goals throughout the year, don’t just write down a S.M.A.R.T. goal, go deeper and add a written description of your ambition or the underlying motivating feeling you’ll receive when accomplishing your aspirations.

These tips are simply the powerful ones I’ve used both on myself and with clients.  I hope they help you along your journey, but instead of discussing my small, inconsequential tips in the comments, let me ask you:

What does an inspired life look like to you and what advice would you give about what it takes to live an exhilarating, purposeful, compelling life?

 

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