“People ask me all the time, ‘How can I become a successful entrepreneur?' And I have to be honest: It's one of my least favorite questions, because if you're waiting for someone else's advice to become an entrepreneur, chances are you're not one.” – Michael Dell, Born Feb. 23, 1956.
Now, many of my friends know I don't consider myself an entrepreneur. I think of myself more as self-employed. But this sentiment applies there, too.
And basically anywhere and for anyone you might want to become.
Unless you're talking about something you need special schooling or a special license for, you don't need anyone's permission but your own.
Don't even ask anyone about doing it. Just do it. If you want to do it, you'll figure it out as you go. You don't need anyone's opinions before you start.
You need INFORMED opinions once you're facing the problems that crop up as a side effect of actually taking action and getting things going.
But don't wait for your friends and family to support you. Don't wait for your superiors to grant you the clearance. Don't wait for peers to talk you out of making waves.
Do your thing. Make that splash. Show it off with pride to people who have the same goals and you will rise. Having followers will make you a leader. Being a leader is a way to get paid to pursue and produce what you love.
If that doesn't get you moving – the possibility of it – then go join the cult of picking boogers until you become worm food.
<!—- lagniappe Here is a short list of people whose permission you do not need in order to step out and loom large in your field, should you choose. 1. Competitors. You don’t need to measure up to their standards or do things the way they do. You just need to offer an alternative for the consumer who is shopping around. A meaningful choice. If I go with this guy/gal, I get XYZ and they’re the only ones offering that... 2. Clients. No one customer has a right to dictate what your work is worth or not worth. They’ll give you opinions about ideas and quality and price, sure. But they’re not the boss of anything but themselves. If they want to work with you, it’s because you allow it. They’re not doing you a favor. It’s vice versa. 3. Companions. Your friends might not support you moving past them. Your partner may not either. Hopefully you’re in a position to make good choices before getting locked in. Support is critical. But if you can’t get it in your direct life, you can find places to belong and be understood online. Just be wary of those who see you as a cash cow rather than a colleague or competitor. 4. Commoners. People on the street that don’t know jack about crap? Don’t let them impact you. Friends of friends. Casual acquaintances. Strangers you bump into and chat up by happenstance. Everyone’s got an opinion about what you should really care about and work on. Usually it’s solving their problems and not yours. That MIGHT be an opportunity... but it’s almost always a distraction. BONUS: Commiserators. Those who seem to be on the same path as you, have the same enemies, face the same challenges. You can share war wounds and talk shop. They get it, they’ve walked with you over similar territory. But that doesn’t mean they can see what you dream. Don’t let people sell you on the solidity of their own limitations. You control you. It’s cool to have people to travel this lonely road with for a time. But that doesn’t mean they are steering. You are. Just you. Can you stand it? —->