The best advice I ever received on chasing dreams
I intentionally decided to travel business class today, not because I had the money to, but because I thought there was a chance could meet someone who had some hindsight on the journey of birthing a dream.
Of all the people in that cabin, she was the only one who looked close to it. I could tell that sometime in her life, she had been an entrepreneur as I was, or maybe I was just desperate for someone to talk to. That happens to us, doesn't it? We reach desperately for hope in strangers especially at those times when everything that used to be familiar seems to have betrayed us- usually, the people we meet at those times are the closest thing to angels and demons that I have ever found on earth.
I knew that It was definitely less than a chance in a million that I'd hear the kind of words that could save my dreams, but miracles happen when desperate people simply make an attempt.
" Entrepreneurship is a lonesome journey, you're alone in the pursuit of an impossible thing. You must know early on that chasing a dream is learning the art of running tired- you must master the art of running tired." She said nostalgically as she wrapped today's newspaper into a roll and chucked it into her immaculate brown leather bag.
We had spoken for a while now. This was her 24th year in business. She definitely knew much more about business in her little finger than could wrap my big egotistical head around.
"Young man, there is nothing more important for you to learn as a dreamer than how to create opportunities"
What does that mean? I asked, still with a hint of pride. She didn't care, she just kept speaking. Wisdom is like that. Wisdom will speak to you of things you feel you already know, whether you choose to listen or not.
"Listen, opportunities happen to be the most valuable and rarest things on earth for an entrepreneur. You see, any entrepreneur who understands how opportunities are created has limitless potential.
"How does one create opportunities, I asked, now with my mind humbled and ready like a blank sheet." There is a point in our lives when the hunger for growth must outweigh the delusions that come from the pride we take in how far we have grown. Her words got me to that point.
"To create opportunities, first you must bring people together. Opportunities are the fruits of interaction... The more you bring people together, the better your chances of creating opportunities for yourself.
Make yourself heard.
Speak up Now!
But do it humbly.
Don't wait till you're successful to make your opinions known...
A closed mouth inspires no one. Your opinions determine the kinds of people that would agree with you, and it's these people that give you the opportunities you need to succeed. Never forget to be humble, No one gives opportunities for advancement to anyone with a bigger ego than theirs... it's why you have to learn to work with people in such a way that your strengths only serve to amplify theirs. "
Earn and keep people's trust. Trust is invaluable social currency, mostly because it's almost irreplaceable, once it's gone.
Ask for opportunities, but before you do, make sure you've given so much that asking doesn't break trust. The more you give, the more you have the freedom to ask.
"Most importantly," she said, almost in a whisper, "be patient. When starting off in pursuit of a dream be careful to never equate work to reward..... If you do, you'd remain grossly dissatisfied because you'd rarely be rewarded in proportion to the work you do... this can build resentment, and resentment suffocates your dreams and aspirations. Instead, equate work to competence and the honing of a skill. Equate work to mastery. That's the secret to making dreams come true. "