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.
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.
I was writing an email on my iPhone and forgot to open the garage door before warming up my truck. No one would have thought it was an accident. It sure makes me think.
Three thoughts on this one:
1) Are people accidently killing themselves because they are focused on their mobile devices?
The other day I left the gas stove burner on for 7 hours. I sometimes write emails while driving. I’ve charged my iPad while using it in the Jacuzzi tub. A bus almost hit me when I walked into the street without looking up from my phone.
Am I going to kill myself one of these times?
Is anyone going to believe it was an accident?
Today, the garage filled up with fumes and I got dizzy. I opened the doors before passing out. Next time I might not be so lucky.
2) Don’t make the same mistake!
It’s cold out and I see so many other folks addicted to their smartphones. I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake.
The life of an 8pm Warrior can be crazy, hectic, and consuming. We’re like autopilot sleepwalkers sometimes: exhausted, overwhelmed, and distracted. We don’t need to add dead to the list.
Maybe we all need to wake up a bit.
3) Are we telling people who we truly are?
When I told others about my brush with death, my wife and a close friend both said they would assume I killed myself. Yes, 2010 wasn’t a great year for my business and I still ache from it, but I never thought people would make that mistake. It makes me wonder if my personal goals I discuss here on the blog are taken seriously. Do I sound like someone who would kill themself? Do I seem fake or delusional? Maybe I’m not telling people who I really am. Are you?
I’m not sure.
All I know is if someone finds me dead, I only want them to ask: A) Who killed him! or B) How did this accident happen?
Suicide isn’t an option. My death won’t make anyone’s life better, but my life will. The same goes for your life.
We’ve got families that need us, talents that can help others, differences that can be made. Some folks might believe their life will never be the same after a major failure. It might be true. That might end up being a good thing.
If we change our focus from ourselves to the lives of others, we find a new meaning for our lives.
We might find a new legacy to leave.
For any of my fellow warriors out there who have considered suicide, I want you to personally email me at Support@8pmWarrior.com so we can talk. I’ve been in the dumps too. I’ve felt worthless. I’ve wondered about my future. I’ve discovered that life really isn’t about me at all. It’s too risky to bet it all on yourself. That’s why I’m now focused on the lives of others. I invite you to join me.
My death won’t prompt candle light vigils around the world or make newspaper headlines. However, as long as I’m living I can still make a difference to someone. Until that changes, I will never take my own life. Never.