I like to consider myself, as many might, an entrepreneur. More than that, I am an entrepreneur of my own life, since what you became is a pure product of your own creation, determination and engagement with the world you live in, the dreams you have, and the opportunities you take or ignore.
I have learned that your life is created by you… and you alone.
In my case, I’ve been fortunate to travel the world, have opportunities passed to me that saw me participating in some incredible projects and experiences across different industries and in amazingly innovative fields.
But let me tell you this: to get there I had to hustle every single minute, and in many others, I just bit the dust. Crashed and burned.
Everyone wants their dreams to come true, but as we sadly come to sometimes realize, many can’t make it or they get caught in the middle, lost in the fight… heartbroken. So the big question is why?
What is the difference between the ones who get what they want or dream about and the ones who fail in the process?
In my experience after all these years, there is only one thing and this is:
Your purpose in life, how you relate to it AND how you connect your everyday actions to that big thing that makes you go crazy, excited and locked-in.
In my case, I have finally distilled this into “having a positive impact in the world, making a difference with people”– but I will come back to this later.
I found this answer by answering the following question – and I’d encourage you to do the same:
When I am the most amazing me? When I get really proud of whom I am as a human being?
My answer: When I’m with good friends, changing the world by improving things and people experiences – and that is enough reason to become a friend to as many people as possible and to inspire them that it is possible to have a better and happier world….and get over myself.
What do I mean with this purpose thing?
Well this is the deal: your purpose is bigger than you, way way BIGGER.
And that is the key of the matter.
By activating yourself from your purpose, it takes the attention away from you, the ego part, and puts it on what is really important to have in order to fulfill that purpose – the outcome that you need to have to serve your purpose.
For me that means going from getting upset over not getting what I wanted (or deserved or –insert your own word here-) – a job offer in London after working so hard for my MBA, working so hard to secure grades and contacts – to understand that that pathway is dead and I desperately needed to re-calibrate and get back in action with a new plan c,d,e,z – which ended in looking back to the US and start all over again to secure my next job in a great performance consulting firm…to impact people and the world.
Now if you go and think about today’s great entrepreneurs or leaders, the case is not different. They saw a problem and they got obsessed on solving that problem. They figured it out, because solving that problem will impact people, will make a difference for others and lastly will change the world.
And that recognition part is a bonus – or have you ever seen good leaders/entrepreneurs who go home after their first win? (I doubt it)
The key here is that they have removed their ego from their purpose.
Taking your ego out of the equation has a HUGE effect:
Doing so allows you to focus on the outcome and how to achieve it and not how are you looking to others in the process. It also allows others to get inspired by what you are working to achieve and join you in the journey – made possible because it is not about you, an individual, a name, a title a position….whatever.
To me, a way of seeing this is a player playing the Super Bowl. The outcome is to win the Super Bowl. For that, an individual needs to train, then they need to play as part of a team, as the most amazing team (so this also creates another need, the need of a team for you to lead to create great things!!).
And in order to be a great team you need to trust in your teammates and how they will perform, and you need to stay IN the game, all the time, meaning that you can’t be preoccupied on how pretty that last catch was or that run you did, how are people seeing you and how good you look to spectators…if you’re doing that, you’ve left the game!!! And the clock is ticking!! And the other team is playing, and your teammates are playing…
That’s the ego part that most of people have trouble with, but successful entrepreneurs – in my opinion – don’t. They will pick up the phone and make the cold call. They will hustle and wait for the guy that might help them or give them the opportunity for their first Purchase Order (PO) no matter what last name is, your school, family, friends, or whatever. They will be ready for that pass and run like hell to the end zone completely focused on what is the next possible obstacle between them and the end zone….to score, to win the game, to made it to the playoffs and to win the Superbowl…and to do it all over again next year.
They get things done, no matter what, because they see their outcome as the only thing to focus on in order to fulfill their purpose. And they are relentless when doing it.
And then there’s the part on how your purpose can inspire others.
Get them behind your intention and purpose. When people see individuals with a purpose clear and who are taking action, they see a possibility. This may actually happen, this guy can actually make it happen!! – and when people see it is indeed possible, they get inspired, they want to be part of it, they want to help and contribute.
Now, what’s the catch? Everything sounds great, almost too good on paper, so why do people fail?
Because you need to train yourself to focus on the outcome and not the task.
Focusing on tasks is a trap, because they put you in task mode, shortsighted and hopeless when the tasks don’t bring the expected results.
Focusing on the outcome gives you the flexibility to navigate and find ways to get to it. This is crucial, because you will invent and reinvent whatever it is you need in order to get there, to make it happen. And you will enroll people in your journey, you will grow in the process and in the end you will trade your ego for the reward of getting what you really want.
Like many others, I have my little heart and feelings and sometimes they can get hurt, which is OK. But I need to keep training myself that there’s nothing personal when it comes to other peoples’ opinions and automatic reactions, because they may not have the context, and in the end…
… if I’m the one fighting for my outcome and happiness, what do the opinions of others have anything to do with getting what I want?
Get over it, people are trying to make their dreams come true too.
I know exactly when I get messed up because somebody took credit for something I worked hard for, or when I did not get what I wanted as an outcome. The difference is that by being able to see it, I can act on that…and I’m not saying I’m a master at it… not at all.
I will still do a little pity party for Rodrigo, poor me (ego), whining about it, feeling ashamed and doing what we all do, but I now have the control to say when I will stop it, regroup and start to move again.
Because there is a lot to do if I want to make the bigger splash in the world and time is limited.
So, being able to train myself, day after day, seeing myself grow, stretching my limits to actually see the impact I have on others – clients, family, friends and myself- in my opinion, that is enough to lose any relation I have with my ego and that makes me lighter, faster and stronger to fulfill my goal in life.