I Believe In The Dream Chasers

There’s a quote I love from the movie, “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”:

There are some people into whose laps good things fall.
I am not one of them.
I must go out and get it myself.

So much wisdom in just a few sentences. The first sentence is something that we all know to be true. How often do we look at an acquaintance, friend, colleague, or celebrity and think, “must be nice”.

The second sentence in the above quote, if left unqualified, smells a lot like self-pity.

“I am not one of them”.

If only I had their luck.
If only I didn’t have so many obstacles.
If only my life weren’t so complicated.

But it’s in the last sentence that the seeds of wisdom are planted. “I must go and get it myself”.

Yes. So much yes!

There will always be people who have it easier than you. Just as there are always people who have it harder. But human nature seems to concentrate its focus on the shadier side of the street. It’s so very easy to forget to be grateful for what we have, and focus on what we lack.

Yet gratitude and ambition are not mutually exclusive. Being grateful for today shouldn’t prevent us from striving for something different, something better, tomorrow.

Yes, other people may have it easier. They may get all the lucky breaks. They may be born under that proverbial lucky star. So what? Just because something is hard to do, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be attempted. At what point might the odds change in your favour? You may never know if you give up the pursuit too soon. Imagine if having given up, you later discover that you were on the verge of catching what you were chasing, around the very next bend.

If you don’t like what you’re doing with your life, the very least you owe yourself is to give your very best effort toward changing it. If not now, when? In your next life?

You may feel like your circumstances in life are patently unfair. But fairness is a misunderstood concept.

“Fairness isn’t equality of fortune. It’s equality of chance.”

Take your chance. Be a dream chaser. You never know what you might catch.

Dream Chaser

 

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The Best Laid Plans

Ray of lightI’ve previously written about how grateful I was to be able to take the time I needed when my father passed away (Time Stopped But Just For Me). I couldn’t have known then that just three short months later I would be walking that same sad path once again.

Losing both parents in such a short time span is difficult, even as an adult. How little we realize what a day-to-day backdrop our parents provide, as we muddle through our own hectic lives. In their absence, the void is an echo. Life goes on, but the loss reverberates around me.

I’ll get back to my regular blogging schedule soon enough, but not today.

For now, I can offer only these very few, painfully obvious thoughts.

Stop making plans. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate.

Don’t bank on a tomorrow that may never be.

Life is for the living.  So live!

Life asked Death, ‘Why do people love me but hate you?’

Death responded, ‘Because you are a beautiful lie and I am a painful truth.’

The Value of Being Authentic In Business

Authenticity When The Focus Is On YouStarting your own business, or becoming a solopreneur or freelancer, isn’t unique. Thousands of people embark on this journey every day. Some succeed, and some fail. It’s this possibility of failure that holds so many people back from pursuing their dreams. And it’s the mystery of success that holds back others.

Dreams and Ideas

People like guarantees. But when you have your own business, certainty is a luxury. Competition is tough, and always will be. Even if you come up with an idea that no else has, a first of its kind, whether an idea for a new product or a new service, it’s ephemeral. If you do nothing with your idea, you’ll wake up one day, weeks or months later, to read about it being launched by someone else on the other side of the world. If you move forward and action it, and start your own business around this one killer idea, you’ll wake up weeks or months later to discover a dozen competitors have sprouted up around you, seemingly out of thin air.

Anyone can have a great idea. Many people have great ideas every week. Successful business are never about the idea, and always about the execution. Before Facebook, there was MySpace. Before Google, there was Yahoo.

Execution and Outcomes

The thing about execution, is that it resonates on so many levels. Product, marketing, sales, engagement, delivery, strategic, tactical. There’s no single magic combination of elements that consistently produces a sucessful outcome. What works for one business or industry doesn’t work for another. That’s the risk that every entrepreneur and solopreneur takes on a daily basis.

Yet there exists a whisper of commonality that gives rise to a certain flavor of ‘survivalism’ among our ilk. And it has nothing to do with stockpiling food and living “off the grid”.

A Single Thread

Whether you’re an entrepreneur running a funded start-up company or a solopreneur paying your bills with income created from your own business, you are the beating heart of your company. You determine the paths taken, the values adhered to, and the boundaries respected. You decide how far you’re willing to go for success. For profit. You decide how far is too far, or not far enough.

In a global marketplace of tough competition, it’s all too easy to crack beneath the overbearing pressure. To imitate your competition, rather than admire them. To follow the trends, rather than define them.

Don’t be a poor imitation of someone else’s value proposition.

Being authentic is not determinant of success for a business. Indeed, in some circumstances, it may mean choosing failure rather than compromising too much, too far, too deep. Choosing to be authentic means refusing to be something you’re not.

So, yes, authentic businesses fail.

But authentic founders are strong. They’ve had their strength tested, and persevered.

They move forward, knowing there’s never a need to look back.

They look straight ahead, knowing they have no reason to look down.

They are the survivalists in a world of change and uncertainty.