“One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Entrepreneurs and sportsmen share the same passion for success. In order to be successful, both also share the same secret many people know but only a few has practiced it: Be ready and be prepared all the time, in such a way that when the time is finally come, they can grab the opportunity and be successful.
Typically in team sports, athletes are often challenged by the fact of getting sidelined. In basketball, soccer, rugby and other team sports, when you are a reserve or substitute player, you are facing a dilemma: You work as hard as the rest but you only get a fraction of game minutes – if you play at all – to showcase your talent. Many have given up; many others have grown tired. However, a select few diligently practice and hone their skills, whether they are playing or not.
Is it worth the trouble? To many, no; but to a few, getting prepared days in and days out is the best thing they can do. There are some inspiring stories of team sports athletes who were reserves in their sport teams, but becoming superstars of their team because they are perseverance and resilient; they are patient and always be prepared for that one opportunity that can change his/her life – and his/her team.
My story – lessons learned
Starting up, you will always have doubters whispering in your ears “don’t do it – you’ll fail!” “are you crazy?” “starting a business at this time is suicide!” and so on.
One piece of advice I can give you is this: You should respect their opinions, but you shouldn’t do what they want you to do – it’s your life and it’s all yours to live. You won’t know whether you will succeed or not unless you keep your hands dirty.
“How on earth I can trust your advice?” you might say. Fair enough. So, here’s my story – different from those brilliant athletes, but pretty much similar in essence…
I am today working at home making money online. I sometimes travel and I can choose whether to bring or leave my business behind. Just like any other businesses, my line of business requires hard work and plenty of creativity, but the work-life balance is great!
My start wasn’t so easy, either. I hold an MBA degree, but I soon decide that a cubicle is not where I want to be. With the help of my parents, I invested in a franchise. My franchise unit was initially successful, and I expanded to a second location.
Unfortunately, the recession, lack of vision and my poor management have failed not one, but both of my franchise units. I sold one back to my franchisor and closed down the other. It was devastating, and I was on the brink of personal bankruptcy.
To cut long story short, I saw an opportunity to make a living online and I tried countless business models; I have built many sites – most of them failed and some of them succeed – that’s business. You got to try things out and you shouldn’t be afraid of failing. In fact, you need to fail in order to succeed!
I don’t consider my entrepreneurial journey as a success. However, I beat my milestones and keep on pursuing the next ones – I’m on my way. I keep on learning new things and shall never stop learning, as knowledge liberates me.
Here’s the thing for you: If an average person like me can do it, you can do it too.
So, are you ready to be patient, be resilient and always be ready to grab opportunities coming your way?
Disclosure: I am blogging on behalf of Visa’s Go World Olympic Campaign and receive compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s. This post was sponsored by Visa Small Business. From now through August 31st, visit http://www.inc.com/visa-business-of-the-olympic-games/ to learn about Team Visa Olympic athletes who are also dedicated small business owners. Visit Visa Business’s newly-launched Facebook Page (http://www.facebook.com/visasmallbiz) for more details, and follow @VisaSmallBiz for ways to help make your small business more efficient and successful. Discover more at http://visa.com/business.