The mind is truly the most powerful tool we have to get through everything that comes our way. I’ve seen the above video before, but like to watch it from time to time as a reminder. “You’ve got to want to succeed like you want to breathe.”
Man. If that doesn’t give you chills or make you want to get up and do something then I don’t know what to tell you. I have a few things on my plate I’d like to do, and it’s really going to take some focus to get where I want to be. I’m working for a pretty good company right now, but as days go on I tend to think there’s more out there for me.
My job is fulfilling, my bosses and co-workers are awesome, I’m constantly challenged—it’s a really good job. But I want more. When I was a teenager, I remember a particular Sunday when I was riding home with my family from church. I couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about, but something my dad said in passing stands out to me to this day.
“Whatever you do with your life, pick a career where you can branch out and go into business for yourself.”
I don’t remember what made him say that or how we got on the subject, but I clearly remember that I didn’t take it to heart until some years later. By the time we’re about 5 years old it’s already been beaten into our head that to make it in this country, you have to get your degree(s) so that you can go out into the workplace and get a job. That’s definitely a smart path to take, but the older I get, the stronger I hear my dad’s voice in my head.
I want to set up my own situation. I don’t want someone to tell me how much money I can make. It’s a recession so companies are pinching pennies these days. I don’t want to keep being told each budget season that the company doesn’t have enough to offer raises this year. Or if they do, there will be a strict review process so everyone shouldn’t expect to get one.
I want to profit from my own talents. I don’t want to do award-winning work and have a company receive those kudos on my behalf. I want to live or die by my own decisions, not be told what to do for the good of the office. I don’t want to have to check in and negotiate time off so that I can travel to other countries to widen my perspective and better my life. I don’t want to have to tell someone that I’m sick and can’t come to work today.
The biggest contributor to the “get a degree and get a job mindstate” is fear. We’d rather have a steady, secure source of income and work on someone else’s time than do our own ventures that could possibly fail. It’s uncomfortable to be self sufficient. You feel more of a guarantee by putting trust into someone who was smart enough and successful enough to start their own company. As time goes on, I’m feeling like that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
Ownership is freedom. As a young black man, that’s something I’ll also impart to my kids. Both of my parents own their own businesses. Both were also the first people in their families to go to college, grew up in the south at the tail end of the Jim Crow era and attended segregated schools at a young age--only a generation or two removed from relatives who were share croppers. If they were able to do it, I should be in an even better position to succeed.
No excuses. Lots of people never get anywhere because they have great ideas with no action. Talking about what you’re “finna do” only gets you so far. This blog is a start. I have a vision for where I’m going and if it doesn’t work out I have no one to blame but myself. I consider myself the head of my household, so the captain doesn’t get to make excuses.
Just something that was in my head so I had to get it out and onto the screen. Steel sharpens steel, tell me something real and let’s build on this.