Since my life has been turned upside down I’ve started to look at a lot of things in a different light. It’s been enlightening, unsettling and really quite great.
I’ve spent most of my life thinking that good things happen to other people, and that I’ll always be stuck or trapped or held back in some way. I’m not sure why I felt this way, sometimes it seemed like I didn’t deserve any better, other times it seemed like I just didn’t have the resources to get any further. Either way, it wasn’t a very useful or fulfilling mindset to live with.
Since setting up in business for ourselves, I have helped create a thriving young company. We have built something from nothing. We have created a better situation for ourselves with nothing but our own skills and hard work. This brought several realisations and a whole new perspective on life.
I have always understood on an intellectual level that anyone can acheive anything if they put their mind to it, but I have never felt that it applied to me. I didn’t really believe it was that simple. Yet, I have begun to prove to myself that it is in fact the case. All you have to do is take the leap and give something a try. It will either go well, or teach you something about yourself that you can use to do better the next time.
Another thing that has always been lurking around at the back of my mind was the idea that people who are in it for the money are greedy, that it’s immoral and wrong to hope for personal gain and that rich people must be inherently bad in some way. I guess when you don’t have something, it’s comforting to imagine that you’re somehow better than those who do have it. Since starting the company I have learnt that I actually enjoy making money and that there’s nothing at all wrong with that. We need money to live, and having more of it makes life a whole lot easier.
A related belief that I carried with me was that getting other people to spend money was also greedy and wrong. Other people should be free to do what they like and not be coerced into spending money on things that they don’t need. Of course, this is completely silly. We’re not bullying people into giving up something that they don’t want to part with, we’re offering them a service in return for fair payment. If they don’t want to spend their money on our services, they’re free to walk away. In fact, most of the clients we’ve billed have been delighted with our services, and happy to pay us for them. That’s not greedy or evil, it’s just business.
The observation that affected me the most was that there is no reason at all why our company can’t be just as successful as any other company. We’re good at what we do, and our clients agree with us. I found this idea quite surprising. Whether or not you succeed has nothing to do with what you deserve, and everything to do with what you put in. When you use the skills, knowledge or resources available to you, you can acheive anything. And “you” means everyone, including me.
Find something you’re good at and find a way to share it with people. Charge a fair price for it. Don’t allow yourself to become trapped by a situation or a belief. You really can do anything you set your mind to.