If I told you that you are a CEO, the CEO of at least a company – YOU. You would probably not be surprised. What would surprise you is if I told you that you are a special kind of company, one referred to as a START UP.
What is a Start Up?According to Paul Graham, one the world’s most influential venture capitalist: A Startup is a company designed for fast growth.
And that’s what you are. Not only were you designed for fast growth, but up until adulthood, you’ve always exhibited that design. It all began at your conception. Right from your mother’s womb, you’ve been growing extremely fast, and continued till your teens. No two years were the same for you. Your grandparents couldn’t stop commenting on your growth rate.
Then the growth shifted from physical to intellectual. You began taking up responsibilities and making life-altering decisions. You moved into a period of intellectual rebirth.
This growth pattern is same for every one of us. We all experienced this very fast growth rate till adulthood. Our lives are the most natural examples of a Startup. But as we progress through life we begin to take up some growth inhibiting habits. After a while, every year begin to look the same. We lose our natural tendency to grow fast to the unnatural beliefs we take up. Beliefs that make us lose our childlike curiosity and tenacity. Beliefs that make us quit most new challenges before we even start. We no longer act like that one year old, who is not bothered by the number of times he falls while trying to walk. We are no longer like that 18 year old boy who is registering for SSCE for the third time, not considering quitting as an option. We are no longer like that 22 year old graduate, who is very optimistic and keeps rejecting rejections. We are now grumpy and old, we know the outcome of every venture, and attempt nothing new. We are now spectators commenting on activities around us. We’ve stopped pursuing our childhood dreams and dimmed our ambitions. We’ve become like most Startups, dying.
Yet there are a few, who keep growing at a fast rate. They did not lose their edge. The fed their dreams and flamed their ambitions. Like that one year old child, they kept taking new steps. Like that teenager, they gave failure no thoughts. And like that young adult, they stopped counting their losses. They remained a healthy startup for life.
But I will share with you the secrets of regaining your edge and becoming a healthy startup for life.
Most of us like to blame circumstances and other people for our failures. We need to get back that mindset we had when we were just a year old, the mindset that goes for the goal it wants regardless of the environment and the people around. We need to take charge and stop tying our success to other people.
Remember all the great feats you’ve achieved in life – getting a university degree, winning an award, getting married, etc. You achieved them because you turned each of them into a goal. Having a goal gives you something to wake up to and provides a solid foundation for an ambition. Have a goals book; write down all your life goals and review them regularly.
Remember all the plans you had as a child, all the great and fun things you planned to do in the future. You need to become like that again. Have lots of plans. Read your goals book regularly and make plans to achieve them. For each goal have a main plan and at least, one backup plan. Fill each day with purposeful activities. Keep count of your successes and not your failures. Be optimistic. Always believe something good is about to happen and that for every closed door, there is an open window. Form new good habits, kill your bad habits. Have a to-do list for each day. Follow through with your plans.
In September, a 64 year old woman swan over 177 kilometers, all the way from Cuba to Florida, USA. It was her fifth attempt. She gave herself a tough challenge and stretched herself.
You are never too old to attempt new things. Learn a new sport. Learn a foreign language. Learn a musical instrument. Write a book. Start a company. Demand more from yourself and enjoy the journey. Always remember that the difference between extraordinary and ordinary is the extra. Stretch yourself and see yourself become more.
This is what we love most about children. Don’t be complicated. Don’t make crazy life rules. Don’t go judging everyone. Don’t always have a suggestion. Don’t always be right. Don’t box people. Learn to let go of your first impressions, and the second, third… Smile more, laugh more and forgive more. Be simple and you’ll experience a rich life. You’ll attract more opportunities, more good people and positive thoughts.
These are the secrets to experiencing a today that is always better than yesterday, and a life that is growing fast. And these are the best ways to manage the company you’ve always owned – the Startup of you.
Photo Credit: everynation.org
Michael Olafusi is an MS Excel Consultant, a Personal Finance expert and a Tech geek. He blogs at www.olafusimichael.com