I can remember sitting in a classroom at Santa Clara University and looking out of a window at the rain, feeling desperately unhappy. I did not want to be studying economics. It was not that my classes were tough, although they definitely were. It just did not feel right. This is not my future, I thought. I knew it in my bones.
So I took a chance. I took an art class. I was not an artist but I remember thinking that there had to be more to life than economics. This turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Looking back, I can see that I made a lot of decisions that my friends and family did not understand at the time. In fact, I am not sure that anyone believed in me back then.
I am proud that I have had the courage make changes when something did not feel right.
One of the defining qualities of being a successful entrepreneur is the willingness to stop and re-evaluate a situation that is not working. And entrepreneurs are constantly hoping for improvement.
The truth is that I believed in myself when no one else did.
There will be so many unknowns in your career. But one thing I know for sure is that entrepreneurs must believe in themselves, especially when others do not. Own the fact that it is your life that you are living and trust yourself to make good decisions.
Here are a few of the sentiments that keep me going and help me continue believing in myself:
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1. Time heals all wounds.
This statement is a cliché, but I have found it to be true. Time gives people the perspective they need to deal with difficulties, whether they are physical scars or personal struggles. I have started thinking about failure as my friend.
If I am failing, I am moving forward. So I try to not let it discourage me and take solace in the fact that as time goes on, my failures will become less and less painful.
2. Anything worth achieving takes longer than one might expect.
Pride and appreciation are developed over time. That is actually a great thing. Learn to be patient. Keep moving forward and try to not become discouraged by how long it takes to create something. There are no overnight successes and you need to hang tough to be successful.
3. I can figure out anything.
My dad taught me that the power of observation is unparalleled and that there is not anything someone cannot learn by teaching himself or herself. I may not always end up with results that are 100% right, but I can get close.
This belief has empowered me to try new things all my life. I know I do not have to wait for someone to give me permission. I know I do not need to become an expert to get things done.
4. The path to success is never straight.
You might as well learn to how to navigate curves since the way forward is never completely straight.
Finding my purpose in life has helped me continue to have faith in myself. I let this be my guiding light. When I become distracted, this reminds me of what is important. When things are not going my way, I turn to my purpose for inspiration.
And when all else fails, I stop focusing on myself. I surround myself with positive people. I read books about other peoples’ lives for perspective.
Do not get me wrong: I still get nervous. I still wonder whether Iam making a mistake. That feeling never goes away.
But everything else has fallen into place (like I always knew it would) because of my conviction. I found a way to live with the unknown and you should try to, as well. Your path to becoming a successful entrepreneur will be littered with failures and successes. Do not let either of them define you. It is a marathon not a sprint.
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