If you’ve ever thought of doing something big, your mind probably plays the “what if” game.
You might also get out a piece of paper or open a Word page to list all of the pros and cons about what you’re considering.
When Stephanie and I were considering moving onto this 50’ yacht, I played the ‘what if’ game on overdrive.
- What if I run aground?
- What if I run out of gas?
- What if I hit another boat?
- What if I lose internet connection in the middle of a coaching call?
- What if this?
- What if that?
- What if, what if, what if?!?
Your Own Challenges
You are like me.
I don’t mean that you have decided to live on a boat, but you’ve decided to pursue your entrepreneurial dream.
At this point, you may have decided to jump and are currently in free-fall trying to sprout wings.
Or you might still be standing on the cliff staring at the bottom, worried about how far it is and what will happen if you fail to fly.
I know all of the “what ifs” that plague you with worry.
I’ve had those same what ifs early in my career and at every fork in the road, I just said yes and chose the scary path.
What if I don’t make any money? Whoa. I get that one. I referred to my first year in business as “revenue-free.” It was scary. I had a family to support and was also thinking about college tuitions for my twins that were not going to be too far in the future. Yes, I used credit cards and changed my mindset to think of those as business loans rather than credit card debt. I persevered and kept networking and planting seeds that I had faith would germinate.
What if a client fires me? You pick yourself off, dust yourself and your ego off, and figure out why that happened. Was it your fault? Something you did wrong? If so, figure out the solution to avoid it from happening again. As for the client who fired you, can you remedy the solution to regain their trust?
What if my new idea doesn’t pan out? Again, you won’t know until you try, but there are things you can do to test the waters beforehand. Do some sample marketing on a small scale as a litmus test. Confer with others in your industry or other entrepreneurs to get their take on your idea.
What if I lose the respect of my family and friends? Wouldn’t you rather increase their respect by working hard to fulfill your dream? Honestly, unless your friends are entrepreneurs themselves, they probably aren’t going to understand. They might be naysayers about your decision, but it’s your life and your decision.
As it relates to the respect of your family and friends, for one thing, everyone respects success.
People know it when they see it and most admire it.
However, as it relates to the journey, your entrepreneurial goals and saying yes to doing some things outside of your comfort zone, know this…
Your family and friends know you for who you are currently – not who you are moving and working to be.
I encourage you not to seek their approval along the way because as much as they might love and support you, they might not understand some of the things you might be doing to increase your position in the marketplace and grow your business.
Life Is a “What If”
So, what if you do encounter these and other what ifs?
If or when that happens, you get up every day, figure it out, apply the solution, and take the next step forward.
When you take a much broader view, you’ll see that all of life is actually one big “what if” game that you’ve been playing for years.
Take a moment to think back on what you’ve faced so far in terms of the what ifs in your life:
- What if I don’t make friends at the new school?
- What if I don’t pass the driver’s test?
- What if I don’t have a prom date?
- What if I don’t get into the college of my choice?
- What if I fail that class?
- What if I bomb the job interview?
- What if she doesn’t say “yes”?
You’ve probably dealt with all of those fears and “what if” worries… and plenty more!
Yet here you are.
Getting up every day, figuring it out, and moving forward.
Don’t Say “Yes” to Small Ball!
You’ve no doubt heard that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Very simply, big things are not accomplished in one day… or even one week or one month.
I know plenty of entrepreneurs who get stuck in short-term thinking and doing.
They’re in a continuous loop of getting out of bed every day and thinking,
“What do I have to accomplish today? I have to do something today. I want to have a big day today. I have to close out this week in a big way.”
It’s as if every hour of every day of every week was a make it or break it moment.
Not only is it the wrong way to grow a business, it will drive you to levels of stress and a lifestyle that is anything but enjoyable.
Now don’t get me wrong: There is nothing wrong with that sort of positive thinking, and having daily goals is a good thing; however, those daily goals have to be the result of much bigger thinking and planning.
You will never build your business one day or week – no matter how epic that day or week might be – at a time!
My example to fulfill our dream of living on our boat is a good example of thinking big, starting with the end in mind, and then working out the strategy to achieve it.
Living and working on our boat was a big dream that had been percolating in the back of my mind for quite a while, possibly years.
We plotted everything we needed to do (“How do we do it? What happens to the house? What about working so remotely? Will we have secure internet?”), and there were a lot of big things to figure out.
We itemized everything and determined what we needed to do every month and week to meet our May 1st deadline of “setting sail.”
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and our Floating Home was a year in the planning and preparing before we actually shoved off.
When you focus on the little, short-term things that aren’t part of your plan to reach your big goals, it makes everything small.
You can certainly do big and epic things, but you can’t achieve them in short periods of time.
Honestly, I don’t believe anyone – including you – was put on this earth for mediocrity.
We are all created for great things.
Each one of us has the potential to create great things, but only you can convert your potential to be great into something amazing and fantastic.
So… what if… you make that leap today!