Send questions about careers, productivity and work-life balance to email@example.com. Please include your name and location, or request to remain anonymous.
I’ve been inspired to get into entrepreneurship because I think I have the mindset to do it. I never really did well in high school but I was always good at coming up with ideas and getting things done. My mum actually got laid off recently and I can see how it has affected her. I’m only 21 and studying business but I want to set myself up for success. Any tips will help… thx.
Hi Will! Wow, I’m impressed with your mature thought process considering you are still quite young — which means you have a lot going for you!
Let me tell you a secret they don’t teach you in school: you don’t have to follow a conventional path. There are many definitions of success and ways to do it. It seems like you have “entrepreneurship” defined for you. The first step is knowing what you want so you’re already on the journey.
I easily clear six figures a year working whenever and wherever I want. I am also not a slave to recessions and layoffs. I haven't had a “job interview” and never had to “look for work” since by detaching from outcomes (money), delivering high-quality results, and staying true to my values.
Most importantly, I am confident in myself to show up consistently.
I've been doing this since I left my decade-long career in 2016.
It is “woo-hoo” but once you surrender to the process, things really fall into place. (More on this later.)
I won’t sugarcoat it — it’s not easy and requires a lot of resilience and adaptability because working for yourself is a constant rollercoaster. Can you stomach it? But it’s fulfilling and you strengthen these traits along the way.
Many of the steps to achieve this type of freedom are very basic but so few people do them. If you do any of these consistently, you’re probably in the top 10% — if not 1%.
The problem is insight doesn’t lead to action.
But repetition does.
Here is how you can achieve freedom and live the life you want — you may have seen some of these points before but our brains need to be bombarded constantly to finally get triggered to take action.
Are you ready?
1. Level up your skills
Choose relevant and in-demand skills.
Be consistent and stick with it because passions are created not found. Most people never discover what they truly like to do because they don't stick with something long enough.
Udemy, Coursera, YouTube — the world is at your fingertips. There is no excuse to not learn!
Nothing worthwhile comes easy and you have to be willing to put in the hard work.
The magic is that once you start and build momentum, you will only want to keep on going.
Knowledge is power. Power is fuelled by momentum. Momentum creates results.
2. Stop making excuses
No matter how busy you are or what type of situation you are in at home, there is no such thing as no time because even Einstein stated time is an illusion — a man-made concept.
It's time to face some uncomfortable truths.
Do a thorough audit of what you spend your time on. How relevant are they? Are they contributing to your growth or wasting your time?
Then prioritize things that contribute to your personal growth. Start small.
For example, pick one or more of these to do per day:
- Read a chapter. Or five pages. Or even one page.
- Take an online course for 30 minutes.
- Read one article on personal development.
- Have a deep conversation with a colleague or friends about life.
- Write a sentence a day in your journal.
- Go for a walk and listen to a podcast. Hint: you can speed it up.
… and perhaps stop scrolling on social media! You will be surprised at what you can achieve with compounding results.
Just do SOMETHING for personal development or to learn a new skill. Your goal is to prioritize it and make it a habit so it becomes effortless. This means daily effort, no matter how small. By not breaking the streak, you are rewiring your brain.
Time is an emotion. You decide to make the time
3. Be patient
The process of change takes time and is a result of small habits and actions performed daily over a long period of time.
Many people do not achieve what they set out to do because they are looking for instant gratification.
This results in quitting too early or paralysis — never getting started.
Have a relentless focus on the process — the journey — not the destination.
4. Be a generalist
There is no right or wrong way to do things because if we really want it, we tend to make it work.
Specialists are needed and great if you have a personality that requires stability.
Depending on your industry, I personally recommend being a generalist, especially in our fast-paced world where everything is changing exponentially.
As a consultant, I have been exposed to so many different industries gaining experience and priceless insights. Because of this, I'm always able to find work or get referrals because I have experience and wide hands-on skill set from coding, design, marketing, and writing — to management, nutrition science, wellness and physiology, and psychology.
They may all seem unrelated but they are all things I am extremely passionate about so I can deliver quality results. Every industry also requires marketing and sales.
However, being a generalist means you have to be a self-starter, have good time management, and master relentless focus because task switching from creative to logical tasks requires mental energy.
The good thing is that everything can be learned!
Ask yourself, “how bad do you want it?”
5. Don’t operate from scarcity
Society and media make you think there is not enough money or jobs in the world. That's not true… I have seen so much money, it’s sick.
I rewired my mind to to only see abundance.
There is opportunity everywhere.
The problem is that most people wait for opportunities.
Successful people create their own opportunities by being intrinsically motivated and putting in the hard work.
These just require mindset shifts.
Systematic and deep-rooted issues aside, many people stay unsuccessful or poor because they focus on the lack of resources instead of how to create more. They blame the rich when they should be focusing on “how to get rich.”
The path may be harder and longer for some but that doesn’t mean we should at least try, right? It’s an uncomfortable truth but life isn’t fair and we can’t choose where we are born into.
You attract people at the level that you’re at. If you have a negative outlook on the world, that’s all you will attract.
Energy flows where attention goes.
6. Work on your mind
Want to stay focused?
Want to be productive?
Your brain is a control station and that's the first thing you need to prioritize if you want to be well-rounded and successful.
The most successful people excel at managing their energy which is why they seem to get so much done.
Our brains are a wondrous phenomenon and if you understand how it works down to the oscillating patterns that affect the rest of your body, you can truly take control of your time. Because time is also a man-made concept, created by our thoughts.
Once you understand how your brain and mind work, it is much easier to modulate your behavior.
Exercise not only produces BDNF — fertilizer for your brain, boosting cognitive function but it will make you a happier and more confident person. Happier people get better results.
Developing a consistent exercise routine also develops discipline, grit, resilience, and adaptability. Everything you need to succeed in your career and life.
Buy a journal. Start a daily writing habit. Start with a few words. A sentence. It doesn’t have to be structured. It could be a one-word intention you write in the morning before you start the day.
Who cares what anyone thinks?! Once you stop caring what people think about you, your life is going to level up, fast.
Write even if nobody reads it.
Write for yourself.
Stop looking for instant gratification or validation.
It literally takes “problems” out of your head, making them real so your brain can start to find other creative solutions because it is seeing it from a different perspective.
Doing hard things with intent is preparation for the unknown.
But in order to be a good writer, you must...
Readers are leaders. Reading is exercise for your mind.
Read both fiction and non-fiction.
Read non-fiction because we learn and get inspired through the failures and successes of others.
Read fiction because your brain doesn’t know what’s real or not so when you are immersed in stories consistently, the possibilities become tangible in your mind. For example, I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy when I was little which helped me focus on adventure and being fearless, leading to opportunities in life.
Don't have time? Listen to an audiobook. A chapter a day. Five pages a day. Something is better than nothing. The goal is consistency for compounding results.
Quantum leaps take baby steps.
10. Know Your Why
To get what you want, you have to have a clear vision of what you want.
I was always independent and always had the desire to create my own structure.
When I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to “freelance” because I discovered the internet and taught myself how to code and design when I was nine. Possibilities.
When I got addicted to road cycling in 2010, I decided I wanted to create a life where I can ride my bike whenever I want. I guess I wanted it so bad that it actually happened!
This brings me to the first thing you need to work on to design a life you live:
You need to work on yourself.
We have to go back to the root of it all.
11. How to get what you want: tap into your subconscious
In the “woo-hoo” world, they call this manifestation.
Manifesting the life you want.
Discovering what you truly want is a process and requires tapping into your subconscious because 95% of everything we, see, feel, think, or say comes from there.
Most of the time we think we know what we want but we don't because the truth is most people haven’t started their inner work or personal development.
Did you know your brain has already made a decision up to 10 seconds before you even realize it? That is your subconscious mind at work.
You cannot see beyond your own perception. Your perception creates your reality.
The best prediction of future behavior... is past behavior.
”By the time you reach your mid-30s, your brain has organized itself into a very finite signature of automatic programs — and that fixed pattern is called your identity.” — Joe Dispenza, Neuroscientist
You can change this by identifying your behaviours and where they came from.
How to tap into your subconscious
Do these to discover the underlying reasons for all your behaviours. Along the way, you will also uncover blocks — things that are holding you back from your true potential.
- Energy work.
- Have deep conversations with like-minded people.
- Surround yourself with people with opposing views. Don’t get stuck in a bubble! You are the product of your environment and it is dangerous to be only surrounded find people who agree with your every word and validate you.
- Learn to be curious, not judgmental.
- Learn to trust your instinct.
- Practice positive affirmations because your brain is listening to everything you say.
- Be intentional. You have to really want to reprogram your subconscious because intention will fuel momentum.
- Attachment Theory: explore your relationship with your parents or caretakers because everything that has happened to us in our childhood years strongly influences who we are today. Just because we don’t actually remember certain events such as your parents arguing, it is in your subconscious.
The great thing is that our mind is highly plastic.
Experience drives plasticity so once we bring anything in our subconscious into conscious awareness, we can start to change it.
Reprogramming your subconscious mind is hard work and a lifelong process but it's never too late to start.
My story into spirituality
In 2014, I was on the beginning of a new journey. I was getting tired of my life and wanted change.
I met someone who ended up becoming an important teacher.
He opened my conventional life to new possibilities that I didn't understand at that time: philosophy, spirituality, neural programming, quantum physics… everything that has to do with the power of your mind and your thoughts.
He was a deep intellectual who worked in finance but was obsessed with philosophy and existentialism. He questioned everything.
Including me — he sensed I had to get out of my comfort zone.
He questioned me relentlessly, asking questions so deep that my simple mind couldn’t comprehend at that time. I remember feeling so uncomfortable that it would drive me to tears but my teacher kept on pushing.
I needed it.
Thankfully, I had the grit to endure it (coming from a fitness background). I was intrigued so instead of running away, I kept on pushing forward. My soul knew it was the right thing to do.
This was one of the most enlightening times of my life.
A mindset shift
Someone later gave me the acclaimed book, “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.
I clearly remember that night sitting in my room after a few chapters saying to myself, “how the heck do you change your life with the power of your mind?!”
The concept seemed impossible. I was perplexed. It was a time of pure confusion.
But I was driven by curiosity so I just kept on pursuing the unknown.
I decided that I was going to be open-minded to new experiences. I started saying yes to everything which lead me to where I am today.
This is manifestation
Because I decided to become a student again, now I truly understand what they say to “manifest your reality.”
There is some science and a process behind it. But the problem is that the process is hard to explain because it’s different for everyone.
You have to embark on it yourself. It won’t be linear. Your journey is going to be different than mine.
You have to be open to experiences. Unlearn everything that you think you know. You have to be a lifelong student.
You have to continue to push forward even when things get uncomfortable.
Focus on the journey to designing the career and life you’ve dreamt, and life will start to become more effortless. You are no longer worried about the past or future, but focused on the present.
You will learn to cut out all the fluff, stop wasting time, and create clarity by understanding your true priorities.