The world of business is great when it comes to kicking your ass. It takes no prisoners and if you don’t keep your head on a swivel you’ll surely be blindsided. The reality is it’s a tough industry but you’ll learn so much if you’re open minded. Being in business can help you achieve things that you never thought possible. The opportunities are endless. In the same sense, you can live paycheck to paycheck as well. It’s all about how hard you work and how bad you want to become successful.
In this post I’m going to share my 5 life changing lessons that I learned from being in business along with the stories that lead to me learning them. The important thing to remember is I am just a normal guy. I’ve had points in my life where I had no direction or confidence that I would be able to achieve anything worthwhile. While I am still early in my life and career (25 years old), I’m by no means done with where I aim to be.
I share these 5 life changing lessons in hopes of teaching you something that I had to learn the hard way. No matter what, everyone’s lives are different so you may be able to apply these in your life or maybe not. The key is to be aware of them. It could make a world of a difference for you and your path. Ultimately I want to give you the hope that no matter how ‘stuck’ you think you are in your life you can always change and make a difference.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – Old African Proverb
Sometimes you just need someone along side you rooting your on. You don’t have to do it alone! In fact you’ll get farther by utilizing teamwork. If you don’t believe me check out my rant on it here.
Lesson 5: You Have to Want Success BAD
How bad you ask? Real bad. So bad that you gotta want it more than anything you’ve ever wanted before in your life. Above and beyond is an understatement.
So bad that it’s all you can think about. It’s all you talk about. So much that you constantly keep your mind focused on it. Bad enough that you spend every off day you have for 6 months straight shopping the competition. So bad that you spend all your free time studying your industry, reading articles, honing your craft, practicing, etc. You’re going to have to accept help from others, work harder than others, practice or stay productive with all your free time, and care more than anyone else. These are all things that I did to start seeing success.
Why? Because if you don’t, someone else that wants it more will do it and beat you. Business is competitive. Success is waiting for those that want it and that are willing to take it. You’ll start finding success by working smarter and harder than everyone else. It’ll never just fall into your lap or come easy.
More importantly you gotta want success so bad that you’re willing to sacrifice things that you love. I’m not talking about sacrificing your first born or anything like that so don’t get all biblical on me… or more recently Stannis Baratheon from Game of Thrones sacrificing his daughter.
Not that extreme. But you’re going to have to sacrifice things that don’t matter or that are holding you back in order to make time for your success.
What’s holding you back? Open your eyes and figure it out. I’m sure you know deep down what’s holding you back. You’ve just never wanted success bad enough to want to face it and sacrifice it. For me, it was partying, drinking, TV, video games, sleep, my mindset, relaxation time, football, weekends full of hangovers, friends or family that pulled me down like crabs in a bucket, and social media.
Eric Thomas is an awesome motivational speaker that talks about wanting success BAD. He states, “most people say they want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad, you just kinda want it. You don’t want it badder than you want to party, or as much as you want to be cool, or most of you don’t want it more than you want to sleep!” He goes on to mention “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” Very powerful words and true in the world of business or anything for that matter.
I wasted so much time on all these things that didn’t really matter. I realized one day that I would never be super successful if I didn’t cut those things out. It was tough. Some of the toughest challenges I’ve ever had to face. However, I knew it had to be done. I wanted my success more than any of those things. Do I miss them? Every day but I wouldn’t change any of my decisions because I’m happier because of it. You will be too.
Lesson 4: You’ll NEVER Achieve Anything in Your Comfort Zone
I’m an introverted person by nature. I’ve always been shy and slow to opening up to people when meeting them. It’s not that I fear talking to people but I loved my comfort zone and hated being outside of it. Talk about being invisible. The world of business kicked my ass when I was in my comfort zone. It was tough because I knew I was capable of making an impact for my company but my boss never gave me a shot. Many people experience this same thing.
I realized real quick that I would never make a name for myself if I didn’t do what made me uncomfortable. When you stay in your little bubble you’ll never achieve anything great. You won’t stand out, connect with anyone, command enough attention, and you’ll never be able to make an impact which all adds up to a lack of success.
One day I started to force myself to do all the things that I knew were necessary but didn’t want to do. This opened up a whole new world of opportunities. It was tough at first and I hated it. I was constantly in a state of anxiety and fear. But the nice part is I started becoming more comfortable with this. Today I no longer feel uncomfortable getting outside of my comfort zone. It’s like I’m comfortable being uncomfortable… if that makes sense.
You can do this too and it’ll be a huge difference for giving you more opportunities. If you know you’re capable of more and want success bad enough start forcing yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised the positive impact it’ll have on your entire life. This doesn’t just relate to business but can help you with meeting new people, your love life, living a more active lifestyle, and being happier altogether.
Lesson 3: Your Fears are IRRATIONAL
This was the toughest life changing lesson for me to learn. All your fears are irrational. They’re fake and made up.
I learned this one the hard way one day when I had to make a phone call to a customer. This wasn’t any ordinary phone call. It was a call to one of the bluntest customers I ever encountered. It was this older couple and this lady chewed me out one day when I was helping her. I asked for her information so I could follow up with her. She proceeded to tell me I was a scumbag salesman that would call her nonstop and refused to give me the info. Now, at this point I did have her first and last name but said that if I ever tried contacting her that she’d yell at me.
A couple weeks passed at this point and it was nearing the end of the month. My manager wanted me to call this lady because it was a significant sized sale and we needed it to hit our monthly goal. I thought I beat him with the excuse that I don’t have her number. He proceeded to show me that by having their first and last name we could look them up in our system if they previously purchased from us. To my dismay she did purchase from the store in the past and I now had access to her number.
At this point my body filled with fear. My mind was racing thinking that this lady would kill me if I called her. She even specifically told me not to ever call her. I started to have that inner monologue play scenarios in my head and started thinking of the different ways this would play out. None of them played out well. My manager made me make the call anyway.
I was absolutely shocked when I called and she was delighted that I called her. So much so that it felt like I was talking to my grandma or something. She was as sweet as could be. Didn’t yell at me or track me down and kill me. She didn’t even humiliate me or destroy my confidence. No, in fact she came in that night and bought over $8,000 worth of furniture from me. I made about $500 from that specific sale and another $500 from hitting our store monthly goal. Not only that but my manager probably made a few thousand dollars because we hit our goal.
The moral of the story is that your fears are just inside your head. Even if she chewed me out would that really have affected me that much? No. I would have gotten over it. But if I didn’t make that call I would have missed out on $1,000 in my pocket and a this valuable lesson!
You’re missing out on so many chances for success, making money, and more opportunities by letting your fears hold you back. If you’re dedicated to your cause and success people will see that and even respect it.
Since then I refuse to let irrational fears dictate my future. I stay true to remembering that fear will immobilize me enough to keep me from succeeding. I want success bad enough that I don’t listen to any irrational fears. Always remember that fear will kill you, your dreams, and all of your success… if you don’t believe me think back to Chubbs from Happy Gilmore.
The boogie man is fake. I’m sure we can all agree on that. Letting your fears dictate your life is like being afraid of the boogie man. No adult should fear the boogie man just like no adult should worry about their irrational fears. The only thing they do is hold you back from what’s necessary to succeed in life while putting you in a constant state of stress. STOP FEARING THE BOOGIE MAN!
Lesson 2: Your Mindset Controls EVERYTHING
“If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.” – Ronnie Lott
The mind is powerful. So powerful that it can fully dictate whether you achieve success or not. The best part about your mindset is that you control it. Therefore you’re in control of your success. See how it comes full circle?
In all seriousness, your mindset is the only thing that gives you the power to go all in 100%. If you’re only 99% committed to your success you’re going to fail. The reason most people fail is because they don’t fully commit. It’s too easy to quit when you have an escape plan or plan B. Start having a burn the boat mentality or follow these 7 Steps to Give You the Mindset of a Champion.
Think of it this way, if you’re bad at technology, it’s not that you’re bad. It’s that you’ve never committed yourself to actually being good with it. It’s so easy to jump right into you’re bad at it instead of owning that you never tried.
There wasn’t really a defining moment where I noticed my mindset switch. I believe this was a more gradual change. I tell you what though this did take the longest to change. It’s hard to control your mindset because it’s so easily tainted. Think of how easy it is to jump on a complaining bandwagon at work or to say you can’t do something because you don’t want to try.
Think of all the amazing things that humans have accomplished. The number one thing that people tell you is it can’t be done or it’s impossible. You can’t let that stop you. You can’t believe it even for a second. The mind controls everything. The mind even controls something as simple as being open to change and new things. All of these are required if you’re dedicated to your success.
When I became 100% open to change and started to believe I could accomplish anything is when I started to find my success. You can accomplish anything but more times than not you don’t allow yourself to become successful. I know it’s hard when there’s so many haters but stay true to what you believe. I can tell you that there’s no better satisfaction than telling your haters they were dead wrong.
Lesson 1: You’re Capable of Achieving MORE
How much more? That’s for you to determine. If you know what you’re capable of or worth then you need to stop at nothing till you get that.
For me, I had a personal goal that I wanted to make six figures by age 30. Six figures was an unfathomable number for me at that age. But everyone was talking how awesome six figures would’ve been so I aimed for it too. I could picture myself making six figures like…
I’m going to let you in on something that opened my eyes up to this lesson. But first it’s important you know that I was the first person in the history of my family to ever go to a university and graduate. I was told that I should graduate with a job and aim for $50-$55k salary. Seemed like a great plan and decent amount of money. I was only used to making about $10 up till then with various jobs.
Turns out the job I got after graduating was only going to pay me $37k salary. I was a little disappointed but took it anyway. I worked there for a year and hated every second of it. There was no opportunity for bonuses or commissions.
After that year I took a job that paid $15 an hour but I had the chance to make commissions and bonuses based off performance. I was terrified about the uncertainty of sales but took it anyway.
I implemented those 4 previous lessons I shared with you and started seeing some awesome results. My first year in sales I made over $80k with the help of learning how to negotiate with sales and salaries. If you don’t know how to negotiate you’re missing out. You can check out my two different posts on becoming a better negotiator with 6 Things You Must Know Before Entering a Negotiation or The Power Agreeability has with Negotiation.
I did so well my first year that I got promoted to a sales manager role for my second year and made over six figures. My team and I broke just about every company record and we saw a 24.4% growth year over year. I skyrocket to being in the top 10% of earners in all the furniture industry. I was alongside some people that were in the industry for over 10 years or more. All this success came from following these 5 lessons.
By the way I hit my six figure earning goal by age 24. I didn’t think I would accomplish something so awesome till at least age 30! This type of revenue is unheard of for a millennial and especially someone with my background and childhood.
I share this all with you for one simple reason. YOU’RE CAPABLE OF SO MUCH MORE. All you have to do is believe it and stop at nothing until you achieve it. You’ll even be shocked at how attainable certain things are. You may have to leave your dead end job, go to school, work two jobs, stay up all night reading, sacrifice things, etc. but success is worth it.
Did I ever think I would make that much money at such a young age? No. But, now I’m able to set my sites for something that I would never in a million years think I would be able to do; to make $1,000,000 a year.
Most people aren’t setting their goals high enough or aren’t focusing on the right things. So focus on doing these two things:
1) Set your goals higher and don’t sell yourself short. It took telling my company no 3 times for what they were offering me before agreeing on a pay structure. This pay structure gave me the opportunity to make what I knew I was capable of making.
2) Decrease the timelines of your goals. You can achieve your goals quicker. You just need to take the right amount of actions.
You can have it all if you let yourself and work for it. Sometimes you’re the biggest thing holding yourself back. But no matter what the best part about life is that it’s never too late to change and do something different. Make the jump. Who knows maybe in the future you’ll be thinking back wondering how you ever lived paycheck to paycheck. I know I think about it constantly.
I’m truly grateful for all the things I’ve learned and for all those who helped me along the way. I hope that you’ve learned something from this and that I can positively impact your life! Grab life by the cajones and make it your bitch!
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