Life in retrospect

“Before you quit your job”

Dear Diary

It’s been a while. I’ve been struggling with this new form of disease, procrastination. Why do we feel like this? Why is there an overwhelming desire in me to self-sabotage? To cut ties with the possibility of things and to go back to what was once sure, the past. My comfort of employ and letting my boss make decisions for the future. To walk and constantly be looking back is not only a dangerous notion but, also rather impossible to continue. Failure in this distracted pursuit is a certainty.

So what am I to do Diary? I must CHANGE.

Change the way I think. Change the way I do things. Change. Since this has been such a struggle I must challenge myself toward change. My dream to start my own business is my responsibility alone and if it requires me to change for the better in order to be successful then I must oblige. No one else will do this for me. It’s been said that “the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour”. Does this mean one is helpless in continuing the vicious cycle of mistakes made in life? What if there is a desire to be different? To affect outcomes in a positive way than what has resulted before? Diary, I believe this cycle can not only be disrupted but averted if one is willing to change. If one were to “turn from” thinking that will with certainty end in a negative result because you’ve made that mistake in judgement before, the most logical conclusion is, therefore, to learn from mistakes and divert thinking toward something else…to change my thinking. We say change is difficult or that “people don’t change”. Why? Perhaps this is an error in judgement too, perhaps even typecasting. We’ve been built up to certain traits, habits and allowed ourselves to become predictable to the point of a character profile or type to others close to us. So the cycles of behaviour be it negative or positive has been used to define us. If one talks about ‘types’ and ‘profiles’ then is this not also a type of looking back constantly to find skeletons there and create ghosts of them who come after us and spook us into the same behavioural patterns we seem ‘destined’ to repeat. My point here Diary, is that if we focus on past behaviour long enough, failure long enough we will repeat it and we will set in motion a destiny for it.

But what of change? To ‘turn from’ something comfortable and venture into a type nothingness. A venture that has no guarantee. A seedling for which you are tasked with turning into an oak. So then I must learn about gardening and the basic principles of keeping a seedling alive. In entrepreneurship, if I am tasked with building successful businesses then I must be willing to learn something new to make that happen. To keep the dream alive.

Factors that keep us from moving forward:

  • Fear: of change, of failure, of judgement, of lack of support, of looking foolish
  • Expectation: what others presume for us to do
  • Liability: things that are owed to others e.g. Debts, home loans, school fees
  • Comfort: unwillingness to make necessary sacrifices for growth
  • Ignorance: about information, not testing sources, not seeking out ways to learn and understand for oneself

Factors that keep us moving forward:

  • Willingness: to learn, to try, to ask or question, to test and be tested, to change
  • Motivation: a desire to do more than what’s required
  • Caring for something other than yourself
  • Information and knowledge: to seek these constantly
  • Commitment: to leave only once it’s done or when you’re not required anymore
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself"  Leo Tolstoy

How true Diary. My barrier isn’t lack of start-up money, staff, business plans, motivation, partners but it is ME. I must change my focus in order for my business to be successful. I must be willing to do something different for a different result.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.

Resources:

“Before you quit your job” by Robert Kiyosaki

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YENo61PkPek (audiobook)

Motivation and happiness

“I have decided to start my own business”. Exploring the feelings behind the motivation of these words.

Dear Diary

I have decided to start my own business. I feel I have the necessary skills to do this. I like working on my own and I can motivate myself because I know what I want in my life. More and more I feel that I’m using the people I work for. I say this because while my attention is on their work my heart is always set on other things, like ideas and future endeavors. Instead of thinking of saving my salary to invest in skills to make me better at my job I save it for things to buy for my own business ideas. Instead of thinking of ways to increase my employers’ presence in the marketplace I think of ways I can get ahead in a chosen market instead. Instead of encouraging my peers at work to be better at their jobs and to work through the bad times, especially those times you feel like quitting, I tell them to consider starting a business on the side instead. Is this wrong of me Diary?

I have an insatiable need for freedom and to free others who are like-minded in some way. To steer my own ship and to lead my crew through uncharted territory with success. More and more I feel like an impostor. I think I can do better, do more. I feel my heart egging me on to take the leap, but I’m not always sure I should, it’s like I’m waiting for permission. Why Diary?

I think society makes us feel that we are obligated to work for someone instead of exploring our unique talents and generating business out of that. The more I speak to people about going on my own the more they make me feel as though I’m a rebel trying to start a war and that I should repent or be doomed. So I’ve been trying to squeeze myself into a box for their sake. I feel trapped Diary. I feel like a zombie just aimlessly going through my routine of going to work and coming back home. I have no life outside of work because I’m always tired. I have headaches because I’m always thinking of ways to improve my circumstances at work. I’m depressed because I am not really happy about the work that I do. This is why I feel like an impostor because I go against what I feel for the sake of false comfort. For the sake of an hourly rate that is assigned to my worth by the company for the role I fulfill. Actually my job is very easy, I clock in at a certain time, I do what my job description entails, I take breaks and I make sure I have delivered my quota by the end of the day. I clock out and start again in the morning. By this standard, I’m not a very good employee Diary. I feel like I’m in a relationship with someone but secretly having an emotional affair with someone else. Is it right that someone pays for my time and I give them a half-hearted response? Is it right that I misrepresent them by wearing their uniform, the very face of professionalism, whilst plotting my escape? I don’t think it’s fair Diary, I wouldn’t want someone to do that to me in my business.

So then I must ask, is there a difference between an entrepreneur and an employee? Who decides who should become what and why? What would be the reason behind that decision? Because we all need each other right? Employees need entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need employees. So, what does it take to become a happy, motivated entrepreneur? What does it take to become a happy, motivated employee? For me Diary, my work has to make me happy for me to be motivated. So are we saying that motivation at work comes through happiness in fulfilling work? These are the questions I have been asking myself.

Until tomorrow, dear Diary.