Quite often I am asked what it is that I like most about being an entrepreneur and a portfolio business owner AND why I chose this path when my corporate career was successful and had a very bright trajectory. Well, the reasons are varied. Yet, in a nutshell, I embrace three truisms, in particular, which support my latest chapter.
1) As Warren Buffet so aptly stated: Find a way to make money while you sleep or plan to work the rest of your life.
2) The average millionaire has 7 distinct revenue streams.
3) Follow your bliss. (Joseph Campbell’s famous words) If we love what we do, we will never ‘work’ a day in our life.
These facts fed into my decision to build multiple businesses and revenue streams to support a lifestyle I desired for the next 40 years of my life.
Yes, I loved my corporate career, and learned a lot through those experiences; however, after 25+years, my desires, values, and how I wished to contribute in the world changed. I was ‘out of alignment’ (to use my word). And alignment, to me, is loving what you do, being good at it, and most importantly having it tied to something greater than yourself. This can (and will change) over the course of our lives. My greatest joy, throughout my life and career, has always been helping individuals and groups of individuals (teams) reach their potential. It feeds my soul – always has. Leading teams and serving others is my ‘art’ and my passion. Yet, where and how this manifests, has evolved over the years. Today, I consult, coach, mentor, lead, teach, learn, write books and articles, and build multiple businesses which I own – and I help others do the same. It is fulfilling, liberating, challenging, and a life-long learning opportunity. It simply does not get much better than that!
So, what are a few lessons and/or observations have I gleaned over the past decade which may be helpful to others considering a change and/or addition to their current career path?
- Be true to yourself. As we grow older and navigate through life, our mortality becomes more real and inevitable. What I know for sure, is this: if we let other’s opinions and expectations govern our choices, we may reach the end of our life with unfulfilled dreams. Yet, if we remain true to ourselves, we will choose an honest, authentic, and pure intention of how we wish to contribute to the world.
- Be open to new ideas and business models. It is very easy to presume business models, which we grew up with, are the same today as they were then. What a mistake. The world (and business) is in an ever constant state of change. That is reality. When I was introduced to a business a few years ago, which at one point was referred to as an MLM or direct sales business, I could have run for the hills –as the model of yesteryear was not at ALL of interest to me. Yet, the reality is that this business model has evolved. It is a social commerce model, leveraging social media and digital commerce in EVERY aspect of the business. Thus, what a missed opportunity it could have been for me, had I not been open to this incredible business and amazingly lucrative revenue stream.
- Trump fear. Let fear be a catalyst – not a paralyzer. Many of my clients are afraid to leave the ‘mother ship’ to launch out on their own. They stay on their hamster wheel job, afraid to branch out, for a myriad of reasons. One salient point: staying in a corporate job AND augmenting your income with another revenue stream are NOT mutually exclusive. We can DO BOTH and create multiple revenue streams. If we allow fear to hold us back, we will never change our current reality.
- Realize that not everyone is going to like you……and that, in all likelihood, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. This is a tough one; especially for those of us who love people and want people to love us. Yet, we are in the human condition and thus, not everyone is going to like us. Period. As an entrepreneur, and when we are building teams, this becomes even more real. The only perspective I can offer is going back to point #1….Be true to yourself. If we can put our head on the pillow at night, and know that our intentions, choices, and behaviors were pure, then we can sleep well. And as my Momma would say, pray for folks that are not nice to you or treat you unfairly. It is very hard to be upset with folks when we pray for them.
- Learn daily. Being a life-long learner is an optimal way to stay humble, remain young, and constantly growing. Read everything. Be open to coaching. Be a constant observer of life – and integrate what we observe into life lessons.
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable AND the ambiguous. As we integrate new business opportunities into our lives, we will not know what we don’t know. There will be outcomes which are ambiguous. There will be new tactics which may be uncomfortable to us – as they are new to us. Yet, as my parents used to say to us as my sister and I were growing up: Stretch and Grow. Of course, they were saying this as we were physically growing! Yet, the adage is true in other aspects as well. When we set ‘stretch’ goals for ourselves – we will inevitably grow as individuals, professionals, and independent business owners.
- Realize and embrace that nothing in this world is permanent. Often, we hold ourselves back as we are afraid of making a wrong decision. And my coaching is this: nothing in this world is permanent. Good or bad……things change. Things evolve. So, if we make a ‘call’ and the call turns out to be not what we had hoped…..we learn, we change directions, we ‘pivot’, and we move forward. Know and embrace that the world and business is in an ever constant state of change.
- Treat others the way you would want to be treated. This is indeed the Golden Rule. In life, in business, and in the ‘you’ economy – what goes around comes around. Yes, there will be individuals (and other business owners) who may not be fair, supportive, or even kind. Yet, OUR job and responsibility is to do our best to treat others the way we would want to be treated – regardless of how they choose to behave.
From my perspective, choosing a portfolio approach (aka: more than one revenue stream) is the future for most of us. This gives us an expanded portfolio (pun intended) for revenue, tremendous security from the volatility of our economy, and a proven source for residual retirement income. These revenue streams could be rental property, interest from investments, oil and gas annuities, book royalties, direct sales business revenues……thanks to the internet, the options are varied. And the ‘new world order’ of the YOU economy encourages us to lean in and embrace the numerous opportunities from which to choose. AND it also requires us to be open, ready to learn, flexible, comfortable with new experiences, accepting of others, and seeing the world through the lenses of love not fear. How fortunate we are in the year 2017 to have so many options from which to create an ALIGNED LIFE! If you are curious, or even skeptical, and would like to explore further – reach out to me!!