When I decided to become self employed, my friends and family told me not to do it. They told me to stay in my job or, if I wasn’t satisfied with my current job, to search for a new job.
It took months for them to understand that I just wasn’t made to be an employee. We discussed over and over again whether becoming self employed is the right decision or whether I should go the traditional way of being employed.
To me it was clear, that I didn’t want to be employed for the rest of my life and that I had to change my situation. I had headaches driving to work and I hated wasting 40 hours each week with work I didn’t truly care about and working with people I didn’t like or trust.
The day I read one of Pat Flynn’s income reports, I knew that I wanted to try an Internet business. I knew that this could change my life, so I told my parents about it.
However, they didn’t understand it back then – though they eventually accepted it.
How the Internet Changed the Income Situation
Back in the days, being employed meant being secure. Economy was growing steadily and jobs were the way to go. Jobs were safe and a stable income was the only way to support a family.
This has drastically changed today. The Internet gives each of us the opportunity to reach people all over the world, an opportunity our grandparents and parents couldn’t even dream of when they were young.
Today, we can sell information online. We can monetize our knowledge and thus make an income on our own. We can leverage the Internet to live the life we always dreamed of.
Before the Internet gave society the freedom we’re experiencing nowadays, being self employed meant owning a local store and selling goods or services to a limited target market. Self employment meant long work days, no income when you’re sick and often high investments.
But the Internet changed self employment. Or at least it gave self employment a new route to success and profitability.
Today we can sell our experiences and knowledge online, on our own website. The systems to do this became so easy to use, that technical skills aren’t necessary anymore.
We can write and sell an ebook about a topic he or she is passionate about. We can create tutorials, guides or how-to’s teaching others how to solve a certain problem.
Generally speaking, we can solve people’s problems by selling the solution online – and thus generate income.
Since an Internet business is only virtual, my parents and friends didn’t really understand it, nor did they see the business opportunity I wanted to leverage. They wanted me to stay employed, to earn a “safe“ income every month.
However, I didn’t see the paycheck as safe income. If I was let go, I’d have to hope to find a new job. And I can’t control whether I’m laid off or not. I just can work the best I can, take more and more pressure, and hope not to disappoint my boss. What I can’t influence is technology growth that makes my position obsolete, competition or economical mistakes made by my employer.
That wasn’t a lifestyle I desired.
Don’t Let Anyone Stop You
Through countless back-and-forth discussions, my parents accepted that I was about to start an Internet business.
I did it on the side while I was employed, so that I didn’t have the pressure to earn money right away. I slowly grew the business and quit my job within 8 months. That day my parents and my girlfriend understood that I was actually living my dream.
But what made them doubt my plans for almost 8 months? Why couldn’t they realise that an Internet business actually can pay the bills? Why didn’t they see my chance to make more money than I would have ever earned in my old job?
I spent several weeks thinking about that topic and I came up with answers that made sense for me.
The Personal Qualities Paradox
In our education we’re learning mindsets and belief systems that haven’t fully adapted to the evolution of technology.
Schools are preparing us to become employees and to work on our weaknesses instead of empowering our strengths. We get private lessons in those subjects where our grades are below average, while the subjects we excel in don’t receive as much attention.
I think that this is a critical problem. When you want to become successful as an entrepreneur, you need to have a very strong understanding of your natural talents and skills.
My online business only was successful because I knew that I could make money doing web design. Over time I learned more about online marketing and thus became a coach for aspiring entrepreneurs, but if I hadn’t known that I was a good web designer, my business would have never become as successful as it is nowadays.
We live in a society where people compare themselves to others and they can feel bad when you feel you don’t compare to someone else.
Unfortunately they try to discourage those who are better than them, just to make themselves feel better.
Becoming an entrepreneur is equal to standing out of the masses.
The stake that sticks up gets hammered down. – Japanese proverb
Isn’t it a paradox, that we work on our weaknesses, while it’s our strengths and talents that make the difference between success or failure?
It took me a long time to actually value my talents, because they just come natural to me and I didn’t see them as anything special.
In the beginning, I was scared to talk about my strengths. I thought my friends and family would think of me as being arrogant.
But I understood that the only way to truly build a business that’s successful is to empower our natural talents. To build a business we need to be seen as trustworthy in the eyes of our target market. You can only achieve that status when people value your expertise and skills!
This is the Personal Qualities Paradox that’s holding back so many great entrepreneurs! We need to find our natural talents and implement them in our everyday lives. We need to embrace being the nail that’s standing out and that can’t get hammered back in, because it feels great to do what comes natural to you for a living.
You have to be willing to receive criticism and negative feedback when you’re doing something extraordinary like building a business.
But you also have to understand that you have to do something extraordinary to live a lifestyle that others can’t live. If you want to achieve bigger goals than the people around you, you need to take more action. It’s that simple.
The goal for my business is to support my lifestyle in a way, that I don’t need to worry about money anymore. It’s not about earning millions, but I want to earn more money than the people around me earn. And that’s why I’m building a business and taking action and risks that others are afraid of.
I’m getting out of my comfort zone almost everyday. While my family and friends stay in their comfort zones and are satisfied with their situation, I’m not. I allow myself to dream and I do what it takes to make those dreams reality.
Empowering your strengths and talents is the one of the most important mindset shifts that you have to make in order to become successful. Don’t be afraid to stand out of the masses, but embrace your skills and use them to the benefit of others!