Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Passion and Satisfaction

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Steve Jobs

I re-read Steve Jobs Stanford address (Link) recently and this point really stood out for me. Over the last couple of months I have met with a lot of individuals who are doing whatever they are doing solely for a pay check. Life is then a monotonous series of events with very few diversions, and often leads to frustrations, stress and in some cases depression. Finding one’s true calling in life is definitely not the easiest of things to do. Many people struggle a very long time to find something which makes them happy in the true sense. The main emphasis however is that one needs to put oneself out there continuously to find what that true calling actually is.

I believe the litmus test outlined by Steve Jobs simplifies this seemingly difficult task. Personally I always knew that I wanted to go into business. That was the first step. Eventually I realized I wanted to be involved with businesses which dealt with  people on a daily basis. Today, apart from running an HR consultancy business I serve as an advisor to many startups and businesses. Everyday brings with it new challenges and the ability to meet new people. This keeps me motivated and I look forward to each new day.

I have spoken to many people about passion throughout this last year. When we do not  have passion for what we do on a daily basis, life is bound to get monotonous and unfulfilling. Therefore, we have to make a conscious decision to ask ourselves on a regular basis “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”. When we answer “no” too many times in a row we have to make a pro-active effort to change.

Related Posts:

Expertise & Passion by Seth Godin

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5 Responses

  1. I asked myself this question about 12 years ago…do I want to continue my Landscape design company because I love it? The answer was no, I HAD to continue my company because others depended on me. A year later I sold the company and became a full time artist. I’ve never been more poor or happy.
    Great article.

  2. Usman Sheikh says:

    Great story Heather. Its always a pleasure to meet individuals who followed their passion and took that leap of faith. I wish you the best of luck and hope your story can be a source of inspiration to artists all over the world.

  3. Mike Johnson says:

    This is the first time I have read a blog and of course the first post of any kind. As a 36 year old plumber I have been fired from every plumbing company I have ever worked for. All of them fired me after about a year. The reasons have all been the same, they asked my opinion about their problems and I told them the truth. It seems every company always has some sort of problems they deal with but never know the answers. The last job I had was running a new hospital project and after 9 months I was asked by management to get rid of half the plumbers and replace them with non-plumbers to drive down cost. The short story is I said no way, it’s illegal and I want no part of it. I then said if they go over my head I will turn them in to the state dept. of health. Well, I was fired….With the economy the way it is no jobs are available. So with a family of 4 and a new house and $300 in checking I started my own plumbing company. Anyone who cares to listen here is what I have to say. Weeks went by with no customers calling and I didn’t know what to do. We were out of money and my wife gave me a choice of getting a wal-mart type job or get out. That night I freaked out and was up all hours of the night just thinking and thinking. Then it came to me. My problem was simple, I was going about this backwards. Money is a stupid motivator, customers are the real motivator. So here is what I did. I went to a printer and had them print up a 1000 $50.00 gift cards on heavy paper stock all of them with code numbers. The next thing I did was go door to door and meet people one at a time. Ya, it was crazy at first but the people were blown away, they loved it. As of right now I am the number one plumber in a town of about 40,000 people and am looking to hire another plumber. So whats the secret? Give people what they want. All these years I was right, most people let money motivate them and that creates poor decision making. I let the customer decide. The economy is tough so just give the customers what they want, money. People were so blown away they thought it was a joke. Think about it for a moment, have you ever heard of a business come to your door, shake your hand, and while looking in there eyes tell them you would like to earn the business and by they way here is a fifty dollar gift card that can be used anytime for any plumbing service they need. When it’s all said and done I wished I would have done this years ago. I really enjoyed the article and I have learned money is just a poor motivator, money is the result of good business practice. My wife by the way thought it was crazy to give $50 to everyone I meet, she was wrong, but now she is my biggest fan. That $50 is nothing when you consider a customer spends thousands during the course of a life time, not to mention they spread word of mouth business like fire. Just thought I would share this. Mike

    • Usman Sheikh says:

      Thank you for sharing your truly inspirational story Mike.

      I believe the realization you had about changing what really motivated you is the turning point. This is missed by many people unfortunately. If you really know what you want, the world has an uncanny way of making ways to help us reach our destination. Along the way we will definitely experience some pitfalls and our faith will be tested. However the feeling of inner triumph when one overcomes all those obstacles is incomparable.

      I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope your story can be a source of inspiration to people who may be facing difficult obstacles and need to keep the faith and keep reaching for their dreams and goals.

  4. bhadravathi says:

    Great motivational stuff, Mike. I must admire ur grit and determination in believing urself while not losing ur head as u wer supposed to support a family as well as get ur business off the ground. Thanx to usman too for that piece on Steve jobs.

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