[VIDEO] Don’t allow fear to choke you! was last modified: February 28th, 2018 by BJ Blog Staff
You’re full of it — passion, that is. But if you think it’s all you need to succeed in business, it’s overrated for entrepreneurs.
People might point to passion as the one thing that helped them launch a multimillion dollar empire, muster the courage to walk off a dead-end job or overcome insurmountable challenges along the path of entrepreneurship. But this oversimplifies the process.
If you want to succeed in business, you’ll need more than passion. Here are six fundamental reasons why:
1. Expertise to deliver value
You may be passion drunk, but your first priority in business is to establish an area of expertise or core competency that will enable you to distinguish yourself from your peers and let your reputation permeate the marketplace. To do so, amass and leverage your knowledge, skills and experience to attract clients and help them to effectively solve problems.
Without sufficient expertise, it’s difficult if not impossible to deliver value. In a world where substance and the final sum measure success, passion is no substitute for competence.
2. Grit to continue the pursuit
When times get tough in your business, will you dig deeper and manage the crisis or surrender to circumstances and claim defeat?
While passion may have initially ignited the fire in your belly, true grit is what will keep the fire burning. Angela Lee Duckworth, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, considers true grit a highly relevant performance metric, just as critical as IQ. She has written that grit is “the tendency to sustain interest in and effort toward very long-term goals.”
At some point, performing at higher, less comfortable levels for sustained periods will be essential for your long-term success. Will your performance pass muster?
3. Resilience to recover from hardship
Every business encounters some turbulence at one time or another. Without resilience, however, it’s tough to survive the uncertainty and the downturns of the business cycle.
You may not be able to control what happens in the marketplace or how events affect your business, but you can control your responses.
By recognizing that change is inevitable and that a resilient mindset (not passion) is critical to successfully navigating hardship, you can emerge from tough times stronger and even more capable.
4. Resourcefulness to manage assets
In a competitive marketplace, you need creative ways to achieve results even without having lots of means at your disposal. That’s where being resourceful is critical.
Bootstrapping your business, for example, can let you to grow a company without taking investors with strings attached. Your ability to strategically assemble needed resources will help determine your success.
5. Urgency to make forward progress
Without an internal push to inspire you to take the next, timely step, your company could languish in obscurity. Change expert John P. Kotter referred to having urgency instead of complacency, noting that, “With an attitude of true urgency, you try to accomplish something important every day.”
Having a passion without a true sense of urgency might result in your refraining from taking vital action needed to advance your goals.
6. Courage to prompt action
Many business owners experienced fear. But your success is determined by taking action in spite of it. That’s courage. The late management consultant Peter F. Drucker said, “Whenever you see a successful business, [you know that] someone once made a courageous decision.”
Every business owner tries reach certain milestones, and without courage, most would be unattainable. When confronted by fear, your passion may subside. Your purpose may even become muddled. But courage can help you to embrace your purpose gain.
Are you passionate about your business and the value you bring to the marketplace? Let’s hope so. Passion is useful and plays an important role in creating feelings of enthusiasm and excitement. But passion alone is insufficient. You need an arsenal of fundamental skills to succeed in business. Go ahead. Create your arsenal and watch your success take flight.
Honestly I am glad it happened. To show you how Allah (God) works, miraculously the layoff came a day before I was going to put in my two weeks’ notice. The reason I was putting in my two weeks’ notice in the first place was that I was tired of Corporate America and was going to work for myself 100% for the rest of my life. Back in June of this year I made a move from one company to another large company in order to become their Senior Accountant. I was enticed by the pay, benefits, and the challenge. However, as many of you know, I also had my own accounting and financial management business going as well. My previous job allowed me the flexibility to be able to pull this off. But at the back of my mind I knew that I would be more fulfilled if I worked for myself 100%.
When I took the new job in June I was responsible for the accounting/financial management on a 29 property Class A commercial real estate portfolio based on the East Coast. After about two months I then took over another portfolio for some real estate investors based in Germany for the company. Needless to say the stress, lack of sleep and time with family was piling on. I eventually had to let my own business endeavors go in order to continue building someone else’s dream.
At the beginning of November I began to become very despondent and fed up. It showed in my work. After all I was working past five o’clock every day, and during month-end-close, I was pulling 10 and 12 hour days for a week. Quality time with my family was gone and my relationship with friends was suffering. The nature of corporate America is that the better you perform the more is heaped on you with no extra compensation. This may not be true in all professions within the corporate environment, but I have been in Management and Accounting positions and I know it is true for these positions.
In summary, I began to call brothers I knew who were entrepreneurs. I seriously wanted to quit and work for myself regardless of how much or less money I made. I knew I would be more fulfilled and whole as a person. I was getting some excellent advice. I knew Allah (God) was guiding me every step of the way. The true realization came during the Eid Khutbah (presentation) by Imam Wazir Ali. After his introduction and praising Allah (God), he began talking about the need for us to become self-employed! He talked about how it would give us the flexibility to attend important community events without feeling pressured. I was saying to myself, “Khalis you are blessed with numerous talents, you just finished your Masters in Business Administration, you know how to build businesses!” I was also listening to Imam Faheem Shuaibe’s (Oakland,CA) latest talks on Urban Economic Prosperity here :http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/10355594. Previously, I was held back by what holds everyone back, FEAR. Would I make enough money soon enough to be able to support my family without depleting emergency savings, etc? After the Eid presentation, many duas and with the full backing and support of my wife, I had decided to put my letter of resignation in Friday (yesterday). Little did I know I would get called in on Thursday to be laid off. On Tuesday at the masjid, I was talking with another brother that was “laid off” recently. We were talking about the importance of self employment as a result of Imam Wazir brief comments about it.
After being called into HR (Human Resources) office I was given my notice. “Khalis we know you are a very hard worker, but you have been kind of out of it lately. You have really been struggling lately. You missed a very important deadline on Tuesday with our German investors and this is unacceptable. We are going to have to let you go.” (I was acting like I was sad on the outside but boy was I jumping for joy.) “We will allow you to get unemployment compensation and will give you an additional two weeks of pay.” (Oh Allah thank you!)
The deadline I missed was on Tuesday (Eid Adha). I did actually forget about it, so that is my fault. I went back to the office on Tuesday late and got the financial report finished emailed to Germany. I worked until about 8P.M. that day. This is when I made the decision to resign on Friday.
I am truly grateful. I came home that day and said, “Honey guess what?!, I got laid off!” We laughed jumped up and down and thanked Allah (God). Some would say we are crazy as hell. I know that unemployment will only pay about 50% of what I was actually making. I am not worried, as I will just have to simplify, tighten the budget and work hard at building business. I thought it would be a great story to add to the story book of my life, but most importantly to encourage you to never stop trusting and having faith in Allah (God). Push your children to not just graduate from college and get a job, but encourage them into entrepreneurship, education, nonprofit work or the humanities. They will be more fulfilled. Allah (God) has given me the ability to take back my time and my life.
If you have an entrepreneurial streak in you, go for it.
“If you trust in Allah as it ought to be, He will provide sustenance for you as He provides sustenance for the bird which goes forth early in the morning with hunger in its belly but returns in the evening with its stomach full.” – Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
Today I woke up from a dream where I was with a friend showing a random professor something most likely regarding my brand as an artist. In what seemed like a total shock to me, the professor, out of nowhere starts reading my life. He started, “Don’t wait to do what you’re supposed to do. If this is what you want then do what’s necessary to make it happen. All this wasted time is not in the plan. What are you waiting on? You know what you want, do it while you can.”
Now this wasn’t what he said verbatim, because usually once I wake up from a dream I forget 90% of the details and only left with vague pictures and the general way it made me feel, but that was the gist. WHOAH! What a major wake up call right?! No pun intended. For a long time I’ve been coming to grips with the fact that the only thing that could and does hold me back from the life progress that I yearn for is myself and quite frankly, my laziness. I’ve watched youtube videos about how to get motivated, how to get rid of laziness (literally typing in “how to stop being lazy”), read books, religious study guides, prayer, etc! All of these things are awesome and help prep the mind for sure. However, it’s that next step that welcomes the “overthinking committee” of self; that step that if done will actually be the answer to all our prayers but also requires the overcoming of fear (which I learned from Brother Jesse stands for False Evidence Appearing Real). That step, you might have guessed, is ACTION. I mean, that’s it. I could literally end this post with that. Once we write out a plan, psych ourselves out to get prepped, eat the box of wheaties, make our vision boards, fast, pray, get back from the relaxing hiatus, the only thing thats left is EXECUTION!
I’m still learning that things won’t happen for me just because I want them to. They will only happen if I take the proper Action. I’m learning to start small since my ideas are so grand. I’ve got to do step A before I can even begin thinking about step E or F! Even though the wise professor in my dream said don’t wait, I must be patient with the process once I do take the actions required. Waiting and being patient can be the same thing or two totally different concepts.
The Professor was talking about waiting as in expecting someone else to do things for me and being lackluster about my goals, while patience would be me taking action for my life but holding on until I see my goal manifest. Let’s take action and cut any excuses. “Well, see what happened was”, shouldn’t be in our vocabulary along with the classic “can’t” or even “I don’t have time”. WE have to do better since we know better. Maybe I can be your accountability partner by writing and you be mine by reading. Either way, we ALL must begin taking ACTION. Once the fear of not doing trumps the fear of doing, we will move mountains. Faith without works is dead. Dead…dead, buried six feet deep, nada, nothing, zero. I’m ready to be resurrected! How about you? Okay, then let us get out of our own way. Good luck!