Guest Blogger and Assistant Manager, Martin Chan
Infinite Direct, Inc
Blogging is dumb. When asked what I really thought of posting my thoughts online, this was my kneejerk answer. Give me a person with an actual name to chat with, a person that makes faces as they react to what is being said, a person that I can bounce ideas off of and make smile. That’s what I like. None of this… this writing into the void, this one-sided conversation that is one step away from having an imaginary pen-pal. But that was just my kneejerk answer.
The thought behind writing this blog, so dramatically titled Adventures in Entrepreneurship, has to do with a future person that will eventually be me. At this moment this person is totally imaginary (and quite the witty blogger, I might add) but much further down the road… but waiting. It is waiting for me to learn, to go through the trials, and experience the tribulations, but really it is waiting for me to get some very important work done. Essentially, it means that I have to live a little more and that this process of reaching my future self is worth a couple blogs here and there to document the journey.
So why Adventures in Entrepreneurship? Because adventures are awesome, that’s why. Who doesn’t like an adventure? The entrepreneurship part come into play simply because that’s what I want to be- again, we are talking about that future self. Currently I am on a pathway to management in a business that is constantly adding to whatever meager skillsets I currently possess. Meager. What a good word- and apt too, for I am constantly finding something else to get better at as I learn what it takes to manage others and drive a successful business.
And this is when I wrap it around and address my first statement of “blogging is dumb”, because hopefully, somewhere in this nutty blogosphere there might be someone that might glean a nugget of truth in my ramblings, find a brief shine of wisdom in my blunderings, or a smidgeon of humor in the lessons I have learned and take a step toward their better, wittier, future self.
A great man once counseled me on blogging and gave me some advice, “Throw in a list. Blog readers love that stuff.” Taking that sage advice I now present some tips to achieve a better future self which ultimately leads to greater success in business, based on my personal experiences and thoughts. Obviously, this would be a horrible title so instead I will spice it up.
Top Tips to Conquer the World
1. Keep the big picture in mind
If you don’t have an idea of where you are going then all the little bumps along the way seem much more substantial. I relate this to learning how to snowboard and handling those literal and figurative bumps. If I were to have quit every time I fell and got face full of snow, or was cold, or wet, or embarrassed for being the slowest on the mountain I would have never gotten to the point I am now as a freeriding powerhouse shredder of a snowboarder.
Maybe I exaggerate my prowess on the slopes but that’s beside the point. I went through the beginning awkwardness knowing that in the end I would be smoothly gliding in the future. The same goes for business, I know that I am building the skills that will inevitably give me the freedoms, financial and personal, that I want in my future.
2.Understand that it’s a process
I’m pretty sure a Zen master or some-such made the statement that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” …and I would agree. Yup, seems about right. Everyone goes through the same process to get to that end result whether it is learning be successful in the business world or juggling with chainsaws. It’s all about figuring out the next step to take that will get you closer to the result that you want.
I once read about a principle of 10,000 hours. Essentially, if a person were to spend 10,000 hours in focused, directed study of any pursuit (it was chess in the book I was reading), that person would be in the end an expert in that activity. What that means is that if you are not an expert in a given area it just means that you are still partaking in your journey.
For this I have to use the impactful, succinct words of my 8th grade basketball coach, “No one likes a quitter.” And I couldn’t agree more. I don’t want the thought within me that I didn’t follow through with something I could have just because it was easier to give up or not try.
My experiences in business and working with others have shown me that everyone will go through hard times, but it is those that simply won’t quit that I want to really invest in.
4. Surround Yourself with Quality People
One of the things I love about my position is that I am working closely with others and developing professional relationships that have the potential to last the rest of my life. I can make a positive impact on someone that will help them accomplish their goals while I am accomplishing mine. Moreover, I get the same mentorship from others that have gone through the same process and can give me insightful advice.
But what it really comes down to is this: I work with some kooky people that have an assortment of interesting quirks and varying interests, but the one thing that brought us into the same office and career path is our ambition to become something more than we are right now. If you surround yourself with enough people that are passionate about being successful it is hard not to be influenced by them. Thus, you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with.
5. Have Fun
Sometimes the best lessons are those that are learned at a very early age and one that has stuck with me was taught by a group of elderly men through their examples. These men were common laborers that had lived their lives in dark, damp working spaces performing backbreaking tasks. Rugged men that would suit up and march off every day to a thankless job. Yet through it all, they would whistle while they worked.
Yes, these men were the seven dwarfs of Snow White fame, whistling their little hearts out as they went about their day swinging their pick axes. Everyone has a choice in how they approach an activity, it is a controllable. As I learn and grown in business, figure things out and pay my dues, I am going to channel those dwarfs with hearts of gold and find a song that suits me while I work. I figure this is better than the other options out there.
Boom! There you have it. My first blog entry and if feels good to have tried something new. I will be checking in from time to time, hopefully you will too, dear reader. Best wishes to you as you conquer the world…