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(photo cred: Jameswheadrick.com )
Have an idea that’s going to change the world? Are you going to start a soft frozen, traveling lemonade stand that has mimes for employees? What about a new tech start up that excels in customer service and also offices on a farm in Idaho?
We all have ideas we want to someday fulfill. Some are good, others not so much. The ideas aren’t the difficult part, but the building part is. So how do we learn to take action and build?
Take a look at what successful entrepreneurs have been doing for years.
They started before they were ready. They said “go” before their bank accounts were full. They stood up and gave a vision for their dream, asking people to follow before a single sale had been made. Successful entrepreneurs embraced the risk of looking like a failure or “starting small” in order to achieve a desired outcome. They just started building.
Why do they do this? Because the simple fact is we all have to start somewhere. Nobody wants to be seen as unprofessional or a beginner, right? Yet, we all have our foot on the starting line at some point. We’re all young and unsure of ourselves in the beginning. If you’re too scared to acknowledge this is where you are, good luck at building something incredible.
I came across this dilemma several months ago. I had secured a sales job with a growing company, but I knew I wanted to write and work on more creative endeavors. I had to decide whether I should: put off my dreams until I was “better qualified”, or jump all into a project I believed in.
After meeting with a mentor, I came up with the idea of traveling across America in order to work different jobs and interview employees. I could write about my experiences and share with others. I’ve always enjoyed learning about unique perspectives on work from different people. So it fit my personality and seemed like a great life experience. The only problem was I didn’t have the money to travel for seven months. I lacked resources.
The rational answer to my problem would have been to hold off for a few more years, save up some money, and do more blogging in my current role. After all, I had never written full time and certainly didn’t have the deep pockets for extensive travel.
I decided to take a leap of faith and go for it anyway. I would quit my work and give myself two months to build an alternative revenue stream in order to make the trip happen. I figured the worst that could happen was I would fall on my face and have a great time doing it.
I came up with a mission for the trip, and a really awful name: 50 jobs in 50 states. Pretty lame, I know. I reached out to a company and told them about my idea. They got back to me immediately and offered a sponsorship of my trip around the country. Although it was just an idea at the time, they saw the initiative I had already taken by quitting my job. They knew I was “all in.”
Now I’m seven states and seven jobs into what has already been the most incredible journey of my life. I went from a job in sales to blogging full time. I’ve met around 50 hourly workers who have shared with me their life experiences and passions. I’ve seen mountains, oceans, castles, and kick started my marriage working alongside my wife. This week we are filming a conference up in Portland called World Domination Summit alongside great minds likeJonathan Fields and Chris Guillebeau. So many opportunities have come our way just because we said “go” before we were ready.
I guess being irrational pays off sometimes.
The funny part is, I’m not the most qualified person to go on this trip. Someone with a background in counseling or a published author, might had been a better choice. But those people didn’t step forward to do this, I did. Credentials mean nothing without action.
Most people don’t take action because they want to be seen as “professional” and having it all together (the truth is nobody has it all together, so don’t worry about it). We put off great ideas because we lack one or two skills that we need in order to execute them. Jump off the ledge anyway. Chances are, when people see your willingness to take action they will want to help. You will learn the skills you need along the way. You may not look as graceful in the process, but that’s a part of life and business.
Be bold. Take action. Start building.
We need you.