Let’s face it, most people are just comfortable enough that they’ll never take the necessary actions to drastically improve their lives. They make just enough money. They have a house that’s just enough, and a little bit of spending money besides.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being content and well-pleased with where you’re at in life. No, I’m not talking about contentment here; I’m talking about complacency. Those are two very different things.
You see, it seems like most people—deep down inside—really want more from life, but they’re not unhappy enough to actually do anything about it. They are happy enough with the current system.
We find this in the (United States) Declaration of Independence:
“All experience hath shewn, that man-kind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”
In case you don’t speak forefather, here’s what it means: People are usually willing to suffer through things they don’t like or agree with in exchange for the comfort of the current system.
So, what’s the lesson here?
Stop trying to change complacent people. You’re just wasting your time. They don’t want to be unplugged from the current system. They may be unhappy, they may even tell you that they’re unhappy. “Sure,” they say, “I want a million dollars!”
They want to win the lottery (usually without even buying a ticket). They don’t want to work for very much—just enough. So, stop trying to recruit these people into your business. Let them stay in the system. That’s where they want to suffer, where things are sufferable.
The path of business and entrepreneurship is not for everyone. You’re leaving most established systems when you strike out on your own in business. That scares a lot of people.
2. Once you unplug, there’s no going back
Can you imagine Bill Gates working in a cubicle, or Warren Buffet taking orders from his boss?
Entrepreneurship is a mind-shift, and there is no going back once you ‘unplug’ from the system. Once you’ve had a taste of the freedom, the opportunities, the rush of business, you just can’t go back.
In fact, I think this may be what stops a lot of people from pursuing their goals. They fear the permanence of the decision to quit the system and go their own way. I don’t blame them. It is a huge decision, and it changes everything.
Ultimately, it’s a decision that we all have to make for ourselves. Do we really want success on our own terms, or would we rather not risk it?
When Neo took the red pill from Morpheus, he began a process that was essentially irreversible. The same is true for anyone that chooses to be in business for themselves. The process is nearly irreversible.
Here’s something weird:
I meet people all the time that won’t part with $500 to start their own business. Yet, those same people are willing to go into thousands of dollars worth of debt in order to obtain a college degree.
Now, let me be clear: I love college. I have a B.S. in Psychology. I have nothing against higher ed.
But it makes me chuckle a little bit because the potential return on investment between the two is so different.
Let’s say, for example, that you want to become a doctor. You’ll spend 10-12 years in school (4 years ungrad, 4 years med school, and 2-4 years in residency). You’ll come out of the whole deal with about $100,000 in debt and a yearly salary of maybe $200,000.
But let’s compare that to the business you could have started for $500. We’ll assume you had to go in to debt in order to start, and we’ll factor in monthly business expenses for 5 years. You’d be looking at about $5,300.
And where might you be in terms of income? Well, if you’re like my mentor, Brad, you could be earning $1.2 million annually. (True story.) Even if it took you 10-12 years to achieve that kind of success (very unlikely), your income would be 6 times higher than that of a doctor, and you would have incurred less debt.
When I look at those two paths, the choice is clear. I’m unplugged, and there’s no going back.
3. Not everyone is a believer
Morpheus held some beliefs that others thought were ridiculous—even insane. You’ll find the same thing when you start working for yourself. Some people are going to think you’re nuts.
And here’s the worst thing you could ever do: Try and change them.
Please, don’t try and make converts out of people. Just know that some people will believe and others will not. Your job in business is to share your passion with as many people as possible, and let the chips fall as they may.
The problem with convincing someone to believe like you do is that you’ll constantly have to reconvince them. So, let the doubters doubt. Let the haters hate. Let the complacent be complacent.
Your mission in business is to share your passion.
And you’ll find that (naturally) as you share your passion with enough people, others will begin to gravitate toward you. You’ll find that you’re no longer alone. Other believers have found you and a community is developing.
All of this happens naturally. You cannot create it; you can only cultivate it.
Imagine a tree.
Can you create a tree? No, but you can plant one.
Can you make that tree grow? No, but you can surround it with what it needs in order to grow.
Do you get it?
That’s how business works too. You can’t make a believer out of anyone, all you can do is surround people with encouragement and logistic support.
Stop trying to make a believer out of everyone. It just ain’t gonna happen.
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