I've spoken to lots of friends right before we went our separate ways for school and university.
We were talking about what we're going to do after sixth form - now that school is finished, what were our plans for the future?
Naturally, everyone I spoke to was choosing to go to university.
I knew my friends really well and I knew that for many of them, going to university was not an option they were too fond of.
However, they felt obligated to go nonetheless.
When the conversation took a sharp turn towards our futures and what we want to become, many people actually told me some interesting things.
When I asked them, 'so how is going to university helping you get there?' they would tell me that it won't.
The only reason people I knew were going to university was because they needed a 'safety net.'
They needed a plan B, or a Plan C, just in case their dreams and aspirations don't work.
They were too scared to take the risk and fail.
Similarly, when I first decided to take the leap into business, I was struck by criticisms and jokes from family members.
They would tell me that you can do whatever you want, but at least go to university just in case.
Being surrounding by close-minded people can really have a negative impact on you - everything they say leaks into your mind and devours it like a cancer.
For a while, I had many plans.
If my dropshipping business doesn't succeed, I'll just suck it up and find an apprenticeship.
If my plan A or B doesn't succeed, I can just go to university.
With my marketing agency, I had a backup plan to become a luxury real estate agent.
In fact, that's still a plan I can always fall back on instead of going to university.
Having a backup plan puts you in a place of comfort instead of a place of constant challenges.
When you're in your comfort zone, you're not going to try as hard to get out of it and succeed.
That's why, when I decided to make success in business my only option, I changed completely.
In this article, we're discussing 5 ways to make success in business your only option.
When you make success your only option, there's no other choice but to succeed.
Invest in yourself
Within the 3-4 years that one goes to university, they are required to pay upwards of £40,000 in fees.
Disregarding other things like food, travel, and shelter, you're probably closer to around £60,0000.
Once you finish university, you're most likely going to struggle to find a job.
You might even end up getting a retail job - something anyone without a degree can do.
You might get a decent job, but nothing that pays over £30,000 in its first year.
Over the next 5, 10, 15 years, you might get raises, you might even get promotions.
This could easily bring your salary up to... £35,000, £45,000?
Not bad right?
Over the next 3-4 years that it takes everyone else to finish university, you're going to be earning money from your job.
£20,000 per year? That doesn't sound bad.
Over the next 4 years, you'll be at about £80,000 saved up (unrealistic when we bring in taxes and expenses).
Not only this but your side hustle or business has had 3-4 years of growth, learning, failing, and retrying.
Using the money you made over the years from your job, you could have invested into courses, seminars, books, anything that improves your knowledge and helps you succeed.
You might have found small courses on Skillshare, you might have seen someone on YouTube and really liked their course.
Investing in yourself is a lot cheaper than university.
Whilst university may cost £60,000+, investing in yourself will only cost you a few grand a year.
You might come out with less than £20,000 spent over the 3-4 years, yet you'd have come out wildly more successful.
When you invest in yourself, you're a lot more likely to fight for the ROI (return on investment).
When money is on the line, you're a lot more likely to take it seriously and make sure that you succeed.
Again, the job would have netted you around £20,000 per year.
During the 3rd and 4th years, your business efforts compound and you start to pick up very quickly.
All of a sudden, your business is making £50,000 per month!
Whilst everyone just came out of university with boatloads of debt, you just finished the same 3-4 years with a salary of over £600,000 per year.
Put yourself in a winning environment
The biggest problem I faced before becoming an entrepreneur is being too reliant on other people.
My whole identity, my whole life was revolving around other people.
When my friends weren't in school, I felt lost.
When my friends weren't around, I didn't know what to do.
Whatever my friends did or wherever my friends went, I followed.
After school, during weekends and holidays, we were all on the PlayStation gaming.
I was in a toxic environment that I needed to escape from.
I had not yet discovered myself and what I wanted out of life.
Once school finished, reality started to set in, I realized that the life I was living was not permanent.
I started to make decisions based on what I wanted instead of making decisions that aligned with others.
I became a lot more independent and started to see how much I can achieve when I set myself free.
Put yourself around winners, around people who want to reach a similar point as you.
When I purchased a course on the marketing agency, I disliked the course, but the community was great.
It was full of people looking to build businesses, people ahead of you, people behind you, and even others around a similar stage as you.
People wanted to connect, they wanted to network and help each other.
When you put yourself with others on a similar wavelength as you, you immediately raise the bar for yourself.
"You should never be the smartest in the room," because then you'd have nothing to learn, nothing to challenge yourself.
Check out my article on networking if you'd like to build a powerful network that uplifts you.
Your WHY, goals, & vision
Some of my most popular articles are articles that cover these 3 topics.
In order to be successful, you first need a reason, a WHY that guides you.
This is where having a powerful WHY is important - without it, you can't be successful.
Your WHY is going to be the reason you want to reach the level of success that you've envisioned.
Making lots of money isn't a strong WHY.
Quitting your job isn't a strong WHY.
Your why needs to be powerful enough for others to resonate with you.
Your vision is simply another layer on top of that - it's the future you're trying to fulfil.
It's what you see for yourself, your family, friends, and the world in general.
These two things will keep you motivated and remind you why you do what you do.
When you're about to fail and you feel like you want to give up, your vision and your WHY will tell you otherwise.
The more powerful these are, the less likely you'll give up.
Imagine your WHY is to give your family/parents the life they've wanted, to buy them a home to retire in, and allow them to travel the world.
When you're about to give up, you're essentially saying goodbye to that WHY, to your parents and family.
Once you know how your life will look like, what success means to you, and you know the WHY behind it, you can now start to set goals that align with your vision.
Goals are simply the stepping stones up to your vision.
Each goal you set and break is a step in the right direction - a step towards your ultimate vision.
Read this article on creating a powerful vision board to understand how this could help motivate you.
A lot of people coast through their lives without setting goals, without planning for the future.
When you're unclear about your vision, the reason for your existence, and what you want out of life, then you wouldn't know what you should be doing.
This is why people don't pursue things they think can benefit them - they don't have a plan.
Going to university is not a plan - it's part of one.
After university, what's going to happen? If you ask anyone this question, they won't know how to answer it.
However, when you ask an entrepreneur who's thought about everything beforehand the same question, you'll get a much clearer answer.
"Within the next 3-4 years, my business will be generating £200,000 per month in recurring income. This will help me build a team of superstars and put the business on autopilot helping me retire my parents and giving them the life they deserve."
Stop living your life on autopilot - if you want to be successful, make sure you claim it beforehand.
Think about the habits that type of person has, what do they do every day?
What does their day-to-day life look like?
Once you know where you want to be (the vision), you know why you need to be there (your WHY), you've set goals to reach that point, and you've started building habits that align with those goals and vision, you're essentially 70-80% there.
"When your WHY is strong enough, you'll figure out how" ~ Bill Walsh
Limit your choices
I'm a strong believer that options and choices are bad for entrepreneurs.
Today, social media runs the lives of a large part of our population.
With this said, it's difficult to avoid running into gurus, new businesses models, etc, whilst on the internet.
One day, we might see people succeeding in the clothing industry.
We might even start seeing a glimpse of success.
A few months into the business, we start getting bored.
Maybe we're just not picking up as quickly as we thought.
Maybe we were too sold on how well others were doing in this industry that our success becomes obsolete.
Social media is very good at putting things in front of you at the right time.
When you're getting bored of your current business, they start showing you alternatives, different models that you could be in.
This is how shiny object syndrome begins.
We start seeing new things on the internet, all of a sudden there are people in the technology industry who are making millions.
Our FOMO kicks in and we're off to the races - ditching the clothing brand and starting a technology business.
If we have too many choices that it's hard to decide what to pursue, we can think of which business we're most interested in.
Which business might we have strengths in, which business fits our vision better?
You can check this article on making smart decisions to help you with this big decision - after all, the business you choose will be your business for years to come.
Once you've chosen your desired business model, just stick to it.
The truth of the matter is that people are successful in every walk of life.
Gardening, cooking, tech, real estate, adult entertainment, videography, YouTube, and everything else you could think of.
The only reason they're successful is because they chose a business and pursued it.
Don't lose sight
You've got everything you need to be successful now.
- You've invested in yourself
- You're building the right environment
- You understand your vision and your WHY
- The goals and plans are in place to reach them
- You've found one thing you want to pursue
All that's left now is to just do it. Put in the work.
As an early entrepreneur, or even a seasoned one for that matter, you're going to fail a lot, you're going to make mistakes.
The important part is to learn from those mistakes so they don't happen again.
Failure is pointless unless you use it as a learning curve.
You might even feel like giving up a lot of the time.
I know I still do - waking up today, I was feeling anxious, overthinking the future, but once I started to write this article, I started to feel better.
When the WHY and your vision are powerful enough, you'll find a way to keep going.
There is so much that awaits you on the other side, don't lose sight of that.
As you work on yourself, work on your business, the whole world will change around you.
As you improve, the world around you will also catch up with you.
Our minds are powerful machines assigned with the mission of keeping us alive.
Over 100s of thousands of years of adaptation, our brains have learnt about what is dangerous and what is safe for humans.
In many cases, your mind will fight against the unknown in the hopes of pushing you back to your comfort zone.
Understand this is natural and is only part of the plethora of challenges along the way.
Don't lose sight, you're almost there.
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Till next time,