An Entrepreneur and a Legend: Two Reminders of the Possible
Having recently moved to the West Coast from the DC area, I have been attending various business-related events and conferences, not only for the content and learning, but also to meet new people and learn the cultural nuances and business differences unique to living in this area.
What has struck me about living in Southern California so far is how many of the people I meet at similar events are entrepreneurs of some kind. They have started their own business or series of businesses, created products or companies from just an idea or passion, or leveraged some sort of online business. Of course, not everyone I meet falls into this category—but many more of the people I am meeting here are entrepreneurs.
After talking with and hanging out with one entrepreneur after the other, I am seeing some themes in the collective mindset and psyche I encounter. As someone who has worked both inside large organizations and as an entrepreneur at the same time, I am especially struck by a unique attribute in entrepreneurial mindset.
What is this mindset attribute?
The deep, fervent belief that it is possible to create what you imagine.
Nothing hit this point home like an encounter I had recently.
I attended a business event just a few weeks ago, and sat next to a woman who started and owned two successful businesses. Her energy was palpable as she spoke to me, and she exuded a grounded confidence. She was currently running a multi-million dollar enterprise that she had started from scratch at age 45.
When I asked her what she attributed her success to—she didn’t even hesitate to give her response:
“Two things,” she smiled as if divulging a secret sauce.
“You have to hustle, and you have to really believe what you are doing is possible—even if it seems impossible to others…”
Of course I asked her to elaborate.
“Hustling means working hard. Moving. Being pro-active. Having a sound plan. Going out and meeting people. Marketing yourself and your company. Making things happen rather than sitting back and waiting for them to happen. Going after what you want rather than hoping it will fall in your lap. Figuring it out.
Hustling means not quitting until you succeed—even if you fail at first. And of course—really believing what you are doing is possible is the fuel for it all. If you don’t really deeply believe you can do what you are trying to do—then it is impossible to succeed.”
She made a motion to her head as if pointing to her brain and smiled again.
“It’s all in here, isn’t it?
That conversation made clear to me what I knew to be true about a successful entrepreneurial mindset.
You must believe in your power to create something from nothing. You must hold dear a deep belief that it is absolutely possible for you to achieve what you set out to do.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or not, you can certainly learn something from the mindset that woman described to me.
What if you behaved as she described in everything you did? How much more would become possible for you?
What if you hustled and hustled not just until you failed, but until you succeeded?
The legendary Muhammad Ali left us with—the following words that only serve to reinforce this mindset.
What would happen if you lived your life as if they were true?
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have to change it.
Impossible is not a fact.
It is an opinion.
Impossible is not a declaration.
It’s a dare.
Impossible is potential.
Impossible is temporary.
Impossible is nothing.”