Being successful in your personal life is just as important as being successful in business. In fact, you may say that they're synonymous. For any aspiring entrepreneur, there isn't a distinction between work and life. Work is life, and life is work. Entrepreneurs pour their passion into their work and that passion overflows to other areas of their lives, and vice versa. Focusing on having a positive and fulfilling life is just as important as the shrewdest business strategy; it could be the most important business strategy.
It's important to look at your life holistically through a bird's eye view. Your life is comprised of many different parts, one of which is your career. Neglecting any one part in order to focus more time on your career - to become a successful entrepreneur - will cause your life to become unbalanced.
The godfather of inspirational speaking, Zig Ziglar, calls this the wheel of life. Ziglar points out that your life is comprised of seven parts: career, financial, spiritual, physical, intellectual, family, and social. Neglecting any one of these parts in order to focus on another part will actually hurt your life, not help it.
When you're aspiring for success, make sure that you are focusing on becoming successful in every part of your life. Becoming successful in your social life, for example, will most surely help you become more successful in your career. Becoming intellectually successful will definitely help you become more successful financially. All seven parts of your life, although not directly related to your career, have a part to play in you becoming a successful entrepreneur. They have a part to play in you achieving your dreams.
So how can we become successful in these different areas of our lives? Well, that's easy: one step at a time. By making small daily changes today we can set ourselves up for future success. When people say that everything happens for a reason, they're right, but not for the reason you might expect. Our daily actions, however small, always lead us to where we are today. By forcing ourselves to make small positive changes in our lives, we are laying the foundation for positive habits that will drive us to be successful every day.
When you take small daily steps toward becoming successful you will become successful, because success will turn into a habit. Then, when it is all said and done and you look back on your life, you will see that everything did happen for a reason; that everything in your past has led you to a point of success. But it won't be because of fate, it'll be because you put forth the daily effort to make small changes that guided you down your life path.
I hope I'm not getting too philosophical, but then again, I'm writing from San Francisco; sometimes it's hard not to get philosophical. Regardless, there is a lot of truth to the idea that everything happens for a reason, and you being the reason. I know because I've lived it.
I'm a firm believer that success equals opportunity plus preparation. Because of this philosophy, I make a point to constantly read and listen to educational content. It's my goal to listen to at least two business or success-minded podcasts a day. I try to take notes when I can, and I always try to draw out lessons that I can use in my every day life.
Prior to 2013, I was what I refer to as an aspiring entrepreneur. I held a nine to five job but I wanted nothing more than to strike out on my own as a full fledged entrepreneur. I knew my opportunity would come one day and that I just had to put in the preparation. I started devouring educational content and tried my best to either meet someone new or learn something new every day. One day, when I was checking out an apartment for rent, I started talking to one of the existing roommates. We quickly found that we shared a passion for technology and entrepreneurship, and without even thinking I started sharing with him all the lessons and principles I had learned by listening to my business podcasts.
My passion and knowledge of business and entrepreneurship was evident, and before long he started to smile.
It just so happened that I was speaking to a guy who had recently started his own software company that had nine employees. It also just so happened that the company was looking for a financial leader and decision maker.
Well, I have a degree in Finance, I said.
We started talking the specifics of his business and within a month I had his company as my first client. I can say with complete conviction that if I hadn't made an effort to listen to business podcasts everyday, I wouldn't have had the knowledge to carry on a meaningful conversation with him. And it was the conversation I had with him that sparked a connection between us and gave me the credibility I needed to take on my first client. I had taken my first step toward entrepreneurship.
There will be days when we don't want to be positive. There will be days when we don't want to be productive. But if we view our lives as a whole, and make an honest effort to improve daily, there is no doubt that everything will happen for a reason. And that reason is you.