Walking ... or Just Talking?
By Jim Kuiken
Have you ever wanted to start your own business? Do you want to write a book? You know you have great ideas for both, don’t you? It’s okay, you can admit it. We all do!
“Oh, I just want to play music with my band.” That’s easy, go find a garage and have fun! Wait…you mean play for people? Like a gig? Well, that’s a business.
Do you like training dogs or working with animals? As a hobby or a volunteer? Outstanding! I love animals. Or do you want to do it for a living, maybe start your own business?
I absolutely think you should follow your passion – do whatever you like or do whatever you love. Anything that crosses your mind that you’re really interested in can be a business…or you can be a writer producing a blog, or writing articles, books, etc. about those passions. The only limiting factor is yourself (see my previous post - Boxes? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Boxes).
I spent my entire adult life in public service…but guess what? Eventually I retired! Now what do I do? I tried corporate, which was ok…but I was still working for someone else.
Then I opened up and ran two of my own companies. It was hard, but I did it, and it was great! And now, I follow my real passion…storytelling. I’m a writer and public speaker – and an advocate for those who are in need – and I LOVE what I’m doing!
That’s the first key. Do what you love, what you like, or what you really, really want to do.
But dreamers think about the same things… I know, I’m a dreamer too. There are lots of things I’m really interested in and would love to do, but I never get past the stage of dreaming about it and actually do it. I want to be a pilot (I’ve jumped out of airplanes, but I can’t fly one). I want to spend my days on a large, wooded ranch (with horses and cattle) at the base of some mountains with streams and a lake, etc., and hunt and fish. But I live here in a suburb.
We all have dreams.
The difference is that an Entrepreneur does things, and the Dreamer thinks about things. That’s not a bad thing, unless you want to be an Entrepreneur and end up just being a dreamer…
So, we figured out the first key – doing what you love, like, or really, really want to do.
The way to get past just thinking about stuff, and doing it is to have a plan, some tools, and maybe some friends or mentors that can help you. I’ve written about some of these before, so to make it easier, here’s a list that you can use if it helps you. I wrote these from personal experience…and from my failures as well as my successes.
Wait – failures? Oh, absolutely…and I’ve had some real doozies… I’ve lost my job, my house, and everything I own at least twice! I’ve risked everything and lost.
And I learned more from those failures than I did from a lot of successes (and I’ve had some great successes)!
So, here’s a quick list if you’d like to look through it:
So the second key is to make some plans, and use the tools, friends and mentors, and any knowledge and help you can gather to pull it all together, and start doing what you love.
And the final key? Hard, gut-grinding work. The will to spend all your available time and effort to make it happen. That’s the real key. I never was the smartest, biggest, baddest, fastest, most talented person out there – if someone thinks they are, then they’ll be surprised when some skinny little 12-year-old girl goes blazing by them on a 10K run…putting that tough macho Marine guy to shame (yup, that happened…hard to run when you’re busy swallowing your own inflated pride).
Two folks who kept me on the path were
Dream your dreams, follow your passion, and don’t forget to have fun – I’m having a blast!