What would you like to do next in your life that is truly meaningful to you? A difficult question when one has many opportunities in life. Yes, freedom of choice is wonderful but occasionally it also comes with a burden. Would you like to work as a consultant, as a marketing expert at a large corporation or start your own company? Many start to work at large corporations but some also take more adventurous paths such as creating or working for a startup.
Step 1: Know yourself
There is no clear path. So instead of looking for the answers outside, start looking inside. What kind of person are you? For example, do you value being part of a large community, adventure, or something completely else? Perhaps you value a mix of many things. Whatever it is, the process to figure it out should start within yourself. When you figure out who you are, or at least get a glimpse of it, then you come one step closer to know what you want to do next in your life.
Step 2: Take decisive action
Once you know what you want to do, you have to take decisive action. Today is the day you wish yourself back in 5 years. You will tell yourself how many big opportunities there were. A couple of years ago I was working on an app. Only much later I realized that I could have started something similar to Snapchat; I have written a business plan for what was called „48“: send messages that are available for 48 hours or less before they self-destruct themselves. I thought this would help people to discuss sensible topics knowing that messages would not be there forever. I went to some events to meet programmers and started to build a network around the business idea but at the end I stopped to believe in it. Snapchat became a big hit. Lesson learned. The difference between 5 years ago and now is that I know that there are big opportunities in this very moment. In fives years we will learn that someone started the new Facebook today. So when you have a great business idea and you wrote an excellent business plan, you just need to continue to believe in the idea and then take action. An unexecuted idea is worth nothing.
So when you know what you want to do in your life, action is required to get to the next step. Taking action is always important and that’s how I started Awaken&More. Many people looked funny at me when I talked about starting a non-profit consultancy for non-profit and social enterprises; today we are providing opportunities to more than ten Social Impact Consultants, have a couple of clients and a partnership with Ernst & Young. However, Awaken&More would have been nothing today if I would have worked on it just on my own. The whole team behind Awaken&More took action as well and they are by far some of the most driven and good-hearted people I met in a long time.
Step 3: Build a core
The next step is to surround yourself with like-minded people. Like attracts like. You ask yourself why would other people like to be part of your organization? Maybe because they like to be around people who think the same as you do? I talk from my experience and urge you to surround yourself with the right people when you want to accomplish your goals. Find people who think the same way as you do. Once, after a long study day, I went with my guitar to Dam Square to play repeatedly the only guitar song I know. After my fingers started to hurt, I started a conversation with a busker next to me (Child, 2014). It was a very interesting conversation, we had strangely much in common. He was the one who introduced me to the idea that whatever you do, you will attract people similar to you. So, when you do not know any people who are interested in your idea, go to business events. Be open, speak with people and eventually you will realize: „Wow, there are other people who think the same way as I do.” Connect with them – dispense the naysayer from your life and associate yourself with like-minded people. If you want to be a business leader, you cannot be around people who are playing video games all day long. Be around business leader, not among people with unreached potential.
Let’s make this day, this week, this month and year count. In five years there will be no regrets; there will be satisfaction because of having taken decisive action and met like-minded people with the same vision.
Child, N. (2014, August 10). Three cities, three guitars: My European buskation. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://psychologybuskingalawordswords.blogspot.de/2014/08/three-cities-three-guitars-my-european.html