In for a penny, in for a dollar. Each and every single successful entrepreneur takes the saying to heart. Sure, I could start off this article by telling you such inspirational stories. I could tell you about how J.K. Rowling was living on welfare with her daughter after her divorce and instead of playing it safe and getting a job that would allow for the family to live somewhat comfortably, she decide to write instead — turning herself from a broke woman to the richest in the UK in just 5 years. I could tell you about how Tyler Perry was living on the streets before he made it big.
I could tell you that he gave up his comfort and risked his entire future because he believed in his work and in himself. But there is no need for me to tell you these stories. Most of you will know a handful of these popular success stories. However, as outsiders we hear a very small percentage of these stories — of the whole. We only hear about the success of those that we care to hear about — about celebrities and trending individuals. We never hear the stories of those who never make it onto the TV screen, into the news. The fact is that each and every person that has truly experienced success has done so only after risking their future.
That’s what we are really risking. It’s not the comfort that is given up that matters. It is the time spent going after your dreams instead of going after something else, something easier to accomplish. It is giving up the possibility of pursuing something else. It is giving up the pleasures in life, such as going out and socializing — possibly meeting new friends and creating relationships that could have lasted a lifetime. Each and every time that you decide to do one thing instead of another, you are giving everything that follows from that never taken action.
You are giving up the future that you could have had. You are giving up some of your health (a healthy lifestyle is rare amongst new entrepreneurs). You may even be giving up your appearance and your hygiene — all of which will affect other aspects of your life and more than likely cause you to miss out on the opportunities that would have presented themselves were your appearance up to par. Whenever you devote your time to something — really devote your time to it — you are actively passing on everything else that you could possibly be doing with your time.
This is why it is important to understand what your passions are, what moves you and motivates you to get up each an every morning. We make many decisions each and every day. We choose one thing over the other and we choose to do one thing instead of anything else. If we are clear on what our purpose is, then we are more likely to pursue our purpose.
When we understand what it is that we want out of life, it is then that we must find the courage to make a move. Most people will take that first step — the first step isn’t exactly the easiest, but it’s by no means the most difficult either. Many will give up after the first step or two. Others will stick it out longer — some for much, much longer. With so much on the line, one would think that the risk-takers would do all that is in their power to maximize their chances at success — that they would put everything that they have into the project.
But that’s usually not the case. Most people will withhold something or other. Most will tell themselves that they are in it to win, that they won’t hold anything back, that they will take it to the end — and most people are flat-out lying to themselves. Most people have reservations about their endeavors — the same endeavors they deem to give them purpose in life.
Most people are — to put it simply — being illogical. Holding such reservations is second-guessing yourself, it’s half-assing. In the game of life, you can either be all in, all out, or all confused. You can either decide to go for it or not to go for it. Anything in between is just stupid. If you are going to do something, then do it right; put everything that you have into it. Do whatever you need to do to get things done. Give up what you feel you must give up. Don’t hold anything back because you will never reach your full potential.
Your full potential requires your full attention. If you are focusing on success, but not going ‘all in,’ then you aren’t completely focused. You may tell yourself — even convince yourself — that you are focused. Technically, you are focused on your work and on your career. Unfortunately, you aren’t focused on succeeding. If you were focusing on success then you would think logically and realize that the more you hold back, the smaller your chances are of succeeding. When it comes to the elusive nature of success, the only thing that you cannot risk is not risking everything.
If you are going to do something, then you must do it right. If you are going to move forward, then don’t allow yourself to take steps backwards. Decide what you want and then go get it. It’s that simple. If you are going to put something on the line, then you may as well put everything else on the line along with it — otherwise you are making yourself miserable for no reason. In for a penny, in for a dollar — live by it.