People declare that “life is short” because it gives them an excuse to do stupid things or not plan for the future. In reality, life is very very long for those who hate their jobs, suffer from poor health, are in a bad marriage, or live in prison.
Even if you’re not trapped in a bad decision, most modern people live long lives (about 80 years). I just read about five people still alive that were born in the 1800′s.
Life is long and it gets even longer when we act like it’s short. Instead, let’s follow our hearts, do work we love, with people we love, care for our bodies, and build relationships that last forever.
As a video producer & director, I work with a lot of creative talent. I also work with a lot of business leaders and entrepreneurs.
I constantly hear talk like this:
“I’m waiting for my big break.”
“That giant order was a big break for his new business. Hoping I’ll get news like that someday.”
“I’m jealous of her because she got her big break before I got mine.”
After hearing it again today, I wanted to share a little insider secret.
The “Big Break” doesn’t exist.
Not only that, but it’s a damaging idea because some people are literally waiting for their big break. Instead of hitting the pavement each day, running for their life towards their goals…they are waiting.
They are hoping.
Every “big break” is really just a series of small steps. The person got better every day. They made more connections. They moved forward.
Then, they ran into the right person. Big break you say? Nope.
The right person isn’t Santa Claus, delivering big breaks. The right person doesn’t help people who aren’t right for them. They aren’t a charity.
You need to be ready when you meet the right person. It won’t be your big break.
For my birthday (which is today) or Christmas, loving family and friends sometimes ask what they should “get” me. Last year, I asked for support in digging a well for a village in Africa. This year I’m asking for something closer to home.
I get to work with some of the most talented video artists on the planet. There are even more waiting eagerly in the wings, demo reels in hand. It’s my job to keep them busy and it’s never easy.
For my birthday, I’m asking my friends and family for their help.
Below are three ways you can help me and other entrepreneurs chase their dreams:
1) Seek to understand their chase
Just like it’s nice to understand that a farmer needs rain or an athlete needs to win, entrepreneurs appreciate being understood too.
Leadership can be lonely.
Many of them are risking their retirement, friendships, and health to follow their dreams. If you care about them, join them on the journey. Follow their business on Facebook. Subscribe to their blog. Have discussions with them more than once a year on their birthday.
It’s the new year and I have three thoughts on my mind. Thought I would share them with my fellow 8pm Warriors.
1) Focus on the positive stuff.
Yes, the economy has been bad. Some places around the world, it’s still bad.
However, there are still opportunities everywhere if we take the time to look for them. Focus on the bad things will only blind us from seeing the amazing people, places, and opportunities that surround us.
For every dark muddy mess on the ground, there is a beautiful sunrise if we just look up.
Keep your chin up.
2) Don’t be afraid to do great things. Don’t settle.
Just because nobody is doing it, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either. Don’t be afraid to be the first.
Stop writing, thinking, talking, and working like everyone else. There’s a better way if we’re not afraid to be the first.
Yes, you may be wrong. But following behind others your whole life will always be wrong.
Nobody changed the world by copying others.
3) Don’t do it alone.
Amazing work is too hard to do alone.
You will fall…and when you do, you’ll need someone to help pick you up.
If you’re isolated and nobody “gets it”, don’t hesitate to use the power of social media and the internet. You’re not alone, even if you want to be.
Let me know if you need help, feedback, ideas, encouragement.
8pm Warriors need to stick together.
A couple weeks ago, I got this shot of an old man walking on the ocean in Vancouver. He was alone.
In 2013, my goal is to do big, crazy, bold things. I’m going to walk across the ocean if I have to…but I’m not going to do it alone.
Thanks for a great 2012 and I look forward to getting to know you better in 2013.
I know great people that haven’t done so well over the past five years.
They have no life insurance, health insurance, pension, or 401(k). They get sick, but they don’t go to the doctor. In pain, but they push on.
Some call them crazy. Others call them ignorant.
“Why work 80 hours a week for yourself to avoid working 40 for someone else?” “Why don’t you sleep more?” “Why don’t you get a stable job?” “Odds are you won’t make it anyway.” “You have a one in a million chance.”
The odds are against them. It’s true.
However it’s also true that the odds were against every single person in history that did anything amazing, brave, or beautiful. They were all crazy. They all ignored their odds.
That’s why they made it.
Their odds were one in a million, because THEY were one in a million.
They left the family business to pursue their risky passion for writing, like my brother-in-law. They took big risks in uncertain times, like my friend Claudia did with her dental practice.
If you’re still reading this, you probably have seen similar stories.
You might be having doubts right now. The last couple years have been really tough on leaders and entrepreneurs.
If you’re like me, you’ve had many failures. You’ve wondered if it’s the right course. Yet we press on.
For every “one out of a million” story, there is always a second person who had the skill and passion to make it too. They just quit too soon.
What makes for amazing stories, are the people who didn’t quit when everyone quit on them. They are the Thomas Edison’s who failed 10,000 times to invent the light bulb. They fight like Steve Jobs, who got kicked out of the company he started, but still kept on pushing forward.
If you believe in what you’re doing, do not quit.
That’s how you accomplish amazing things with your life. That’s how you change the world. If you love what you do and passionately pursue it, the rest will take care of itself.
So, I’ve been lying to people for years about my age. I didn’t think anyone would follow a 27 year-old CEO.
Today I turned 30. Hopefully I’m old enough now.
I made this video last night. It gets a bit personal, but I figure over the past year we’ve gotten pretty personal with each other in the comments here so I wanted to share it with you even though I’m a bit nervous…
So, there it is. I’m assuming I’ve got until 60 with the way I’m pushing my body, so this is halftime.
If you’d like to help me reach my goal, visit my project here. The goal is to bring fresh water to 50 families in Africa. If you want to make a difference with your life, please consider joining me with a donation and/or sharing this post.
Every little bit helps.
I only get one life. It’s “go time” for me if I’m going to reach my goal. Thanks for all your help and support.