There’s a proliferation of bloggers in this world that love to scream the mantra “Just leap! It will all work out!”
But you know what?
The true reality is that, well, it might not work out.
But the reality is, I’m the exception, not the rule.
Don’t get me wrong, there are thousands upon thousands of exceptions.
But there are also millions who will give varying levels of effort to start their own business in hopes of leaving their job and the majority of them will fail.
And I’m guilty too.
Over the course of the last 8 years, there have been plenty of times where I’ve encouraged people to take a chance and see where it gets them – after all, it worked out for me.
I think anyone can be successful on their own. This is assuming they’re willing to work hard and willing to try different avenues until they find the one that’s the best fit for them.
I also think that not everyone will be successful.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to start a business. The steps to get going aren’t difficult on their own, but staying focused and resilient long enough to see success? That’s a different story.
Most people read books like The Four Hour Workweek and have this image in their mind of throwing up a website, and boom! In two weeks they’re rich with a solid passive income business.
I’ll tell you right now, it takes months, if not years of hard work and hustle to truly create the assets to have a long term business.
For Location Rebel Academy, I market helping you make your first $1,000 in 3 months. That’s a completely reasonable and attainable goal. But it’s not like after 3 months your work just ends. You have to continue grinding, networking, pitching, and working to maintain and grow that.
Having been helping people create businesses like this for about a quarter of my lifetime now, I’ve definitely discovered a few truths and realities that are important to keep in mind as you’re getting started. These will help you keep your expectations in check, while also put you in the mindset to achieve success.
You have to create your own luck
It doesn’t matter how hard you work, how well you follow instructions, or how good your website looks – anyone who successfully creates a lifestyle business does so with a little bit of luck.
The good news is you can create your own luck.
My move to Thailand didn’t happen by accident. I spent 6 months blogging about my quarter-life crisis, and my desire to make a big change (check the archives and look at the Summer of 2009). I reached out to others, I made connections, and I proved that I was truly ready to make a change. Then Dan came along and gave me the opportunity.
You don’t always know when luck will hit, or how it will hit – but you have to be willing to put in the work and out yourself in the position to get lucky.
The best way to do that? Play offense.
Too many people have a “defense” mindset when it comes to making changes in their life. They play it safe, wait for things to come to them, and the reality is, they don’t get “lucky” because they’re not putting themselves out there enough and forcing luck to come their way.
You’ll need to withstand criticism
These days, the concept of starting an online business or brand isn’t quite as taboo as it was a decade ago. We’ve all seen stories of regular people becoming YouTube or Instagram famous, or normal people making it online.
But when it comes down to support from those closest to you, there’s a good chance not everyone will be 100% on board – and that’s ok. You just need to be willing to persist. Often all it takes is one small win. All you need is one small win to build your own confidence and convert the naysayers around you.
But the work it takes to get to that one small win is the hurdle most people will never get past.
It’s also worth noting criticism doesn’t just come from the people you know. If you’re pursuing freelancing, blogging, or anything else that requires you to make a pitch, be prepared to hear the word “no”. Like, be prepared for a lot of nos.
It’s easy to get beat down and feel dejected after even one person saying no. But when you sign up for this, you’re signing up for not just one, no, but dozens of them. Hundreds maybe.
Build a thick skin, have confidence in what you’re offering and don’t let that criticism get to you. Do that, and you’ll be way ahead of the game.
Eventually, You Might Need to Leap
In the beginning of this post, I decried the fact that so many people like to spread the “take a chance” mantra without thinking about the repercussions it might cause.
I’m more risk averse than most, so if I’m going to leap, it’s going to be calculated and well thought out.
When I moved to Thailand it was very much with a “what do I have to lose?” mindset.
Worst case? I run out of money, have an amazing adventure and get a job back in the States.
Best case? Well, 7 years down the line I’m doing exactly what I’m doing now.
I knew the risks, I knew there was a good chance I’d fail, and I was ok with that.
As you build your business and begin to see some success, you should prepare yourself that yes, you might, in fact, need to leap and take a chance if you truly want to make this lifestyle a reality.
But this isn’t something you should do hastily, blindly, or because some blogger with a questionable level of success of their own told you to.
It should be because it feels right, you have some confidence and momentum, and because you understand what the worst case scenario is, and you’re ok with that.
So, It Might Not Work Out. But…
Here’s the deal, it might not work out.
Actually, you know what, it probably won’t work out.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. And if you stick to your plan, are resilient during early setbacks and can handle the teeter-totter of entrepreneurial emotions, then you know what? There’s a chance you might succeed.
You might build a business that will support you for years to come, give you the freedom and flexibility to spend as much time with your friends and family as you want, and most importantly give you incredible stories you’ll be able to share with future generations.
And to me? I think that’s something worth taking a chance on.