“If only…” How many times has that simple phrase interrupted your dreams? You’d open your own shop, if only you had the funds and business acumen to get started in retail. You’d launch your own consulting firm, if only you had the contacts to help you get it off the ground. You’d pursue your climb up the corporate ladder if only you had the time. “If only…”
Ready for a game changing truth? Everything that comes after “if only” is an excuse born of fear and not a roadblock. That’s not say the road to your dreams will be an easy one. There can be truth behind each “if only” you’ve uttered. You may lack experience. You may lack personal funds. You may run into hurdles that must be surmounted. All it means, however, is that if these passion dreams are the ones you’re meant to pursue, you’re going to have to work a little harder to get there. Don’t believe it? Let’s take a closer look at the excuses holding you back today and why they’re simply speed bumps not full stops:
“If only I had the money/contacts/resources…”
If you’ve ever had ringside seats to watch a toddler cultivate a new skill, you’ve heard the phrase “Do it myself!” You also know that, while this determination can sometimes reach a successful, independent conclusion, often a more accomplished individual (perhaps you) has had to step in and lend some measure of assistance or instruction. As we grow older, we might abandon the snappy “do it myself” retort, but we don’t necessarily let go of the idea that to be a success we must pull ourselves through the stages of progress.
Ask any successful entrepreneur if they got where they are on their own. The group that nods yes (and is being honest about it) will be much smaller than you think. From small business loans to mentors, success in business is a team effort – even for solo entrepreneurs. You’re not in this alone. You don’t need to have all the money, contacts and other resources in your own back pocket. You need to be willing to recruit the support required to propel yourself forward.
“If only I had more time…”
No matter how good you are, or how hard you work, you’re always going to have 24 hours in a day and 365 of those days in a year. When you’re busy juggling a job, a family, and an assortment of other demands on your time, finding a few minutes (or hours) to cultivate your dreams is daunting. We can all identify with that.
But listen to this: You know that that entrepreneur who just patented her invention? She had the same time crunch. So did the one who recently opened the bakery you love to pop into on the weekend, as did the neighbor who returned to school to pursue her MBA. The difference between those folks and you’re “if only” is how you’re each setting your priorities. Make your dream a priority and you’ll find the time to pursue it. Trust me on this one.
“If only I weren’t afraid…”
Stepping out on the ledge of the known, ready to leap into the pursuit of your dreams, is terrifying. Frankly, I’d be worried if you weren’t at least a little afraid as you set out on this journey. A measure of doubt and fear can help you keep focus. You can use those feelings as motivation to do your due diligence, and make well-informed decisions. As long as it’s not holding you back, these feelings are perfectly normal at the start of a great adventure. You’re afraid. That’s fine, step out and do it anyway.
“If only I knew I’d succeed…”
There are no guarantees. There’s no crystal ball to illuminate your way. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. Set out on this journey anyway. Fear of failure is one of the most common dream killers. For many of us, the terror of not succeeding can be enough to keep us from even starting. Yet, failure can be the spice your recipe for success is missing. The path to success is often littered with attempts that didn’t quite make it off the ground. Learning from those attempts is an integral part of succeeding the next time.
So, tell me, what’s holding you back? What “if only” are you muttering to yourself? Need help seeing the other side? I’d be happy to spend time talking with you about it. We offer a free 15-minute collaborative interview to help you evaluate our program options. Contact us today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.