Why 10 things?
Because my brain told me so.
There are more than 10 things I’d add to the list, but I know the average attention span has shrunk to seven seconds… SQUIRREL!
If you’re anything like me, your bright-eyed and bushy-tailed cockiness will get you into trouble thinking you can achieve overnight success simply by “pursuing your passion.”
Seven days of being hospitalized and slapped with a $40,000 medical bill only one month into launching your new business can teach you a thing or two—or 10—about failing fast.
Pardon my French, but you’re gonna need a helluva lot more than “passion” to build a sustainable solo business. As my buddy AJ Leon might say:
It takes “creativity and grit” to make shit happen.
Don’t make the same amatrepreneur mistakes I made for the first three years. (Did I just make up a new word for amateur + entrepreneur?!)
Before you kick your day job to the curb, have a look-see at the juicy goodness I conjured up for you.
1. Help others
Always ask yourself what gaps exist in the world that you can fill using your time, money, or resources (this is the key to doing more meaningful work).
2. Say “no” and “maybe” more
Garner your worth by not accepting every opportunity that comes your way and saying “yes” only to the best ones.
3. Be great at your one thing
Be amazing at the one thing you want to be known for and if you’re not, practice that thing until you are.
4. Ask the question behind the question
Never take anything at face value; always ask why until you can’t dig any deeper into the question.
5. Make water your friend
Go surfing, swimming, running along the beach or lakefront—do the dishes—to help you get into your zone and channel your creative juices (I got the idea for this post while doing the dishes this morning!).
6. Talk to your creative genie
Talk your ideas out loud and ask your creative genie to help you connect those thoughts into something cohesive (I am not responsible for any voices you might hear).
7. Stalk people you want to model after
Become an obsessed student of your circle of influence—not in a restraining order sort of way—to give you some context and content behind the success principles you want to bring into your body of work.
8. Create content
The mind is a limitless resource you can tap into for creating basically anything you can conceive. Share your work with others by expressing yourself any way you know how (write, dance, sing, play, etc.).
9. Have fun
Have fun doing work you love; but if it ever feels like a chore, you’ve got to dump it or delegate it.
10. Show up and do good work
Talent got nothin’ on grit and perseverance, so you’ve got to show up and do good work every single day.
[I cheated, here’s a bonus for you!]
11. Act in spite of fear
Get rid of the idea of being fearless. It’s about braving through even when you’re gripped with fear so you can rise out of the muck.
Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you. ― Maya Angelou
This post first appeared on Medium.
Photo: Flickr/ colinlogan