They say an entrepreneur is someone who has started their own venture. As if starting something equals a title. They say to qualify as a "true entrepreneur", you need to be making a certain amount of money, as if money can tell you who you are.
I see so many people define themselves as "wannabe" or "aspiring" entrepreneurs, but that just makes me sad because these people are putting themselves in a box they may never get out of. Isn't it infinitely better to state who you are and work hard to get there? What makes you happier - saying you're a wannabe or that you're there already?
Jeff Goins says the key to turning pro is to think and act like a pro.
There's nothing wrong with having big dreams, but dreams are only dreams. What you do defines who you are. And the stories you tell yourself are hugely responsible for you being on the right track or having digressed. The story you tell yourself is true, always, so make it a good story. I never thought "fake it till you make it" was a bad thing even though I'm big on authenticity. Sometimes authenticity isn't what you see, it's what you feel.
Sometimes what's real is not what is, but what can become.
Authenticity equals potential.
Authenticity does not equal reality. It equals potential. (tweet it)
Guess what: your potential is sometimes invisible to others, and sometimes even to yourself. If you don't see what you're capable of being, you'll never become it. But if you believe and act like it, you'll be on your way to achieving all your crazy dreams.
(Although you must admit, you've always *felt* you were capable of achieving anything.)
What did Arnold Schwarzenegger do when he was a nobody? Did he feel sorry for himself or act the way he was "supposed to"? He told everybody who would listen he would be world-famous one day, he'd be a renowned body-builder and politician.
Arnold knew deep down that mindset is everything.
Saying something doesn't make it true, but saying it, believing it, and acting on it does. So stop listening to other people and validating their ideas of what is accepted and what is unacceptable. It's your life, you make the rules.
Because you know what?
You are an entrepreneur.
Have you ever started crazy projects? Have you ever thought the rules were cracked and wanted to make up your own? Have you ever wanted to work for yourself? Have you ever had original ideas that could have become businesses?
Being something is different from doing it.
If at your core, you are an entrepreneur, that's enough for me.
Don't listen to people who want to keep you small. Close your eyes and picture them, hear what they say to you, and realize these are people with small dreams and small worldviews, and you should never aspire to be anything like that.
If you're an entrepreneur, you just know it. You don't need anyone to tell you or any number to prove it. You just know you are one, and sooner or later, the world will know it, too. Until then, don't lose hope because you're spectacular.
Seriously, people tend to lose hope very close to the "finish line". So if you feel like your faith is shaking, play a happy song, read an inspirational quote, or hell, read this blog post. Just don't give up because you're SO CLOSE. Listen to Bob Dylan:
Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you'd like to act.
My biggest lesson from 2015.
I wanted to end 2015 with this article because I believe it is the KEY to allowing yourself to dream big in 2016. This year was huge for me because it taught me that I can't keep waiting to get permission to be who I want to be. I had to give myself permission.
Like James Altucher says in his best-seller, you must choose yourself.
Stop acting like you need permission to be who you are capable of being. (tweet it)
I'm grateful for everything this year brought, but most of all, I'm grateful for this lesson. And I hope you'll take it with a grain of salt and make it yours.