Success is Now!

successisnow  I write this blog entry for my friends and families whom I’ve seen struggle as they chase something thinner than thin air called success.

The idea for most people is that success lives in the future. It is what you will gain – the big house, nice car; position – the big promotion, being in the C suite, and fame or network – the friends and connections you will have in influential positions. I want to emphasize that for most people, all these ‘things’ are in the future, that is, these are what you will have or will be in the future.

Here is an idea that may seem radical: That success is not in the future, but rather lives here, in present tense. You can be successful right now. You don’t have to postpone anything. The decision to succeed now can lead to you having or be all that you want to be.

One of the ways that success can be defined is as follows:

A successful person is someone who has made the commitment NOT to give up on goals. No matter what the obstacles, that person will push through. If this person falls 777 times, the natural reaction is to just get back up. That is a successful person.

I have yet to see anyone with this kind of attitude fail

Being successful involves adopting the attitudes, belief systems, and values of successful people. The person who does this is bound to achieve desired life goals.

Note that the definition above says nothing about what you have or where you are in life. I know of friends and family members in their 40s and 50s who are nostalgic about their 20s and what they could have accomplished. They see themselves as failures because they are not where they want to be. Consider this idea: That in the next 5 years, some people in their 20s will accomplish goals that people in their 40’s previously gave up on. So what’s the difference between people in their 40s and 50s who have given up on their dreams, and those 20 somethings who will attain those levels of achievement? Those in their 40s and 50s likely have more experience, more education, and larger networks.

Some achieve their goals with their efforts fueled by fear of failure. The fear to fail can be a powerful catalyst, pushing you to work so hard to avoid it. However, based on my experience this type of success could come at a high cost to personal relationships and health. There are no guarantees that the failure a person tries to avoid will lead to reaching the goal. However, there is no doubt in my mind that fear has a negative effect on the fearful and those around him. On the other hand, pursuing your goals from the position that you are already successful (because you have what it takes!) will serve as fuel and make the journey more enjoyable. Such an approach provides the confidence and the mental fortitude needed to overcome challenges that will come your way.

Success involves making a powerful choice in the present tense—now! That choice can propel you forward and sustain you for whatever goals that you have set out to accomplish. Wherever you are in your journey, take the challenge today– choose that from now you are successful!

November 1, 2016 at 8:19 pm 1 comment

Why Entrepreneurs Take Risks

Biggest risk Mark Zuckenberg quote

There is a high rate of failure for businesses. The statistics I have seen say as much as 90% of businesses fail in the first year (1). If this is so, then why would an entrepreneur believe it’s possible to be in the minority of enterprises that will succeed? Explanations that I have heard range from entrepreneurs must be delusional, to ‘they have the means’ to afford failure.

The rest of this blog will debunk the former (we all know that entrepreneurs are delusional). As for the latter, I won’t even spend much time addressing it, given that so many entrepreneurs have risked everything they own to start a business knowing there are no parents with deep pockets or trust funds to the rescue if they fail.

Of course, from an entrepreneurial standpoint, going into business is the very rational thing to do. Let me share with you some reasons that hard core entrepreneurs start businesses and what non-entrepreneurs can learn from it.

1)      The risks are not that bad

If you consider that entrepreneurship is a journey, the risks are not that bad. In fact, the probability of success for an entrepreneur who has committed to the journey is 100%. Let me explain.

Suppose, you were given a coin with the following attributes: a) the coin lands Heads (success) 10% the first time you flip it, and b) on subsequent flips you can learn from your mistakes and improve the probability of success considerably. It is unfair to compare entrepreneurship to the rolling of dice. Most entrepreneurs learn from their first mistakes and improve their success rates on the next go round.

Before, I quit my full-time job to engage heart and soul into running my own venture, one of the best ideas I was given was that “entrepreneurship is a journey” and I should engage in it with no thoughts of turning back.

Lesson for non-entrepreneurs: Overestimating risk and underestimating future gains

I believe that by nature, human beings tend to overestimate the risk of losing what they have, and at the same time, underestimate the potential for future gains. This is probably why many put their money in the bank instead of investing in the stock market where history would indicate they are likely to achieve higher returns. Some don’t even put money in a 401(k) when they could get a guaranteed 100% return with an employer match. One of the attributes of entrepreneurs is that they are able to assess risk better than the average person.

Question: Are you evaluating risk properly?

2)      Entrepreneurs are not afraid of losing immaterial assets

One of the reasons that people are afraid of going into business is the fear of what they might lose: Reputation – what would their friends think or say about them, or tangible assets such as money or the nice house in the suburbs. I call all of these immaterial assets. For entrepreneurs, their main asset is themselves and not the things they have.

So as long as there are humans and there are problems to be solved, an entrepreneur will create solutions for which people are willing to pay. Even if humans were able to solve all their problems, I am convinced that there will be entrepreneurs who would convince some to pay for problems that are inexistent but could materialize in the future.

Lesson for non-entrepreneurs: You are your greatest asset. Just like an entrepreneur, for all humans, their asset is not what they have; it is the person who created those assets in the first place. Are you spending time increasing the value of your assets through learning, meditating, going to retreats, keeping yourself in top condition both mentally and physically?

3)      Entrepreneurs live their lives

There is no job advertisement for entrepreneurs. By definition, entrepreneurs are passionate about their ventures. They believe they were created to be entrepreneurs. The fact that they take the paths less traveled doesn’t bother them. What other people think is not going to stop entrepreneurs for doing what they love to do. There is a reason why many entrepreneurs leave very good jobs even when a promotion is imminent.

Before I started SciMetrika, I had an older friend who had a great job at IBM. He had an MBA with a technical background which was rare in those days. He believed that he would rise up quickly to the top. Deep in his heart, he wanted to be an entrepreneur and start his own business. The nice house and good pay kept him from ever following his passion. I knew I did not want to end up that way which is why I started SciMetrika in my early 30s.

Entrepreneurs would rather risk failure, living the life that was meant for them, rather than being successful doing a 9-to-5 job. (Of course, the greatest failure is to lose your soul and not be who you are meant to be.)

Lesson for non-entrepreneurs: Live your life with no regret. Deep inside, you have a passion and calling. Follow your passion and don’t let excuses like people, money, age (too young or too old) or background (education/race) stand in your way.

(1) Neil Patel. 90% Of Startups Fail: Here’s What You Need To Know About The 10%. Forbes Magazine; January 16, 2015. Accessed online on August 15, 2015 at http://www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01/16/90-of-startups-will-fail-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-10/

April 3, 2016 at 9:33 pm Leave a comment

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