Competitive Edge

Quick Takeaway: Build A Dream First Then Reap the Rewards After

Every once in a while, I come across a quote that, in a few words, relays an important and powerful message.  Here is one:

So what’s the takeaway?

Start from scratch and create something that you can call your own and that you’re proud of.  It doesn’t have to be something big; many big things often start very small.  Building it yourself will require hard work, effort, sacrifices and pushing through on tough days.  Along the way, you’ll learn more about yourself as you’re faced with challenges and gain experience.  You’ll learn what persistence means and what it means to truly put in work.  This will build your character and broaden your perspective as you act on your passion.  You’ll develop a story along the way.  The victory and success at the end of the road can also build you professionally and personally.  TheAfter5Edge started as an idea and it has since spread its wings.

Have you found something that you’re passionate about developing? Have you given your entrepreneurial spirit the freedom to dream and act? When are you taking your first step?

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Igniting Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

The entrepreneurial spirit gives you hope and drives you to make something out of nothing.  See how I previously defined it here.  It empowers you believe you can get from point A to K, without directions and by taking an unplanned route.  Once you get to point B, you’ll leverage your experience from getting from point A to B to figure out how to get to point C.  There’s a risk you won’t make it to point K, but despite that, the entrepreneurial spirit tells you it is ok to try. The entrepreneurial spirit in rooted in the belief that effort and small steps are better than making no progress at all.

So how do you ignite your own entrepreneurial spirit?

Before Editing

Take ownership of what makes you unique.  Be in tuned to who you are, what is important to you and what you stand for.  Make a conscious effort to prioritize those things and customize your life so you experience more of them. Yes, it is possible to customize your life!  Remember that life didn’t come with a handbook so what society prescribed as the path may not be the one for you.  And that is perfectly fine.  But the responsibility to celebrate who you are and create the life you want is yours.

After Editing

Insert creative moments in your day.  The exploratory nature of creativity is fundamental to the entrepreneurial spirit because creativity allows you to experiment and see things differently.  Make it a point to incorporate creativity in your day so that you’re actively doing something.  I’ve always loved photography because it provides a lasting gratification associated with a moment that captured my attention and moved me emotionally.  So most times, I’m carrying my camera and when I’m not, my phone comes in handy. In addition to taking photos, I love editing them similar to what I’ve done with this photo.  Find a creative outlet that’s manageable and give yourself permission to explore and apply by doing each day.

Choose risk-taking over risk-aversion.  We are creatures of habit and we prefer things we’re used to. We like to be and feel comfortable.  But if the entrepreneurial spirit is about doing, exploring and discovering new things, then this approach won’t work because you don’t get new results by repeating the same steps.  To get a different outcome, you have to embrace new and different approaches which involve risks.  It is an old saying but no risk, no reward.

Maintain a big picture perspective.  You will miss a lot of things if you continuously have tunnel vision.  Yes, you need to concentrate and focus on one thing at times, but it is also important to be aware of what’s happening around you.  When you’re able to read your environment well and keep a pulse of what’s going on, you’ll be more prepared for tomorrow. You’ll be better at anticipating what’s next, what to get into, what to avoid and where opportunities are.  Continue to question and think of ways to make an overall connection.  Remain mindful of the vision and keep your perspective broad.

Develop the habit of sharing.  When you take the road less traveled and go against the grain, people will stare, talk and wonder about you.  As humans, we generally feel more comfortable with things we know and are familiar with.  So anything outside the norm tends to make people uncomfortable. Instead of letting this reaction discourage you, use it as an opportunity to inform others and share your story.  Let them know what drives you and what you’re passionate about. Tell them what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it.  As they begin to understand, you’ll notice them becoming more supportive, congratulating you on your courage and possibly expressing a desire of wanting to do the same.

Have you identified your entrepreneurial spirit?  Are you looking to ignite it?  If you already have, how do you keep it active and maintain it?

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5 Simple Principles of Success for Those Who Question Themselves

If you ask 100 people what the definition of success is, you’ll probably get 100 different answers.   Some definitions may be driven by what it personally means for the person while others may be what society has generally told us success is.  For the latter, success is going to a good school, having a good career and having a happy family.  And falling short of these expectations have led to many people questioning themselves and whether or not they are truly successful.

But in recent times, people have challenged this rigid definition and prioritized things like freedom, flexibility, passion, time and personal fulfillment.  As a result, the definition of success is as unique as each person.

Here are some simple principles to remember before you fall into the trap of second guessing yourself and your success:

Success is personal.  What will work for someone else may not work for you.

You define what success means for you.  With success being personal, there is no one route or definition.  You need to figure out what you’re trying to accomplish, develop your milestones and assess yourself accordingly once you reach them.

Success is about the journey. Once you being your journey and start making progress toward a worthwhile goal, you’re already more successful than you were when you started.  So enjoy the small steps, each day and give yourself rewards along the way.

Success comes when you’re good at something. If you’re leveraging your passion about something and you’re committed to it, success will come. Continue to make progress so that you’re better at it than anyone else and watch what happens.

Happiness leads to greater success.  Many assume success brings happiness but that isn’t always the case.  On the other hand, happiness in what you’re doing and your journey will give you the drive to stay the course on those tough days and achieve greater success.

Have you felt pressure with how you define your own success?  What are the important factors of success for you?

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    TheAfter5Edge blog was built on the premise of leveraging one’s entrepreneurial spirit to achieve competitive edge in business and life.
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