One Part of Succeeding as an Entrepreneur Is Hard Work, and This Unconventional Formula Is the Rest
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When we think of reaching for success, most of us think of one thing -- hard work. We’re taught that if we want to be successful, we have to follow the plan, keep focused, and work really, really hard. But what if the “buckle down and work” mentality is actually missing an extremely important piece of what it takes to accelerate your success in today’s world of entrepreneurship?
After all, aren’t we watching people challenge this model all the time? Overnight successes and incredible stories of unconventional genius seem to become more of the norm each and every year. So what do these people know about success that the rest of us don’t?
Here are three tips to unconventionally tap into success, through the spirit of adventure.
1. Inside of friendship is where business happens.
My entrepreneurial journey started when I was 22 years old and attended my first international entrepreneurship gathering called Awesomeness Fest, by Mindvalley. I wasn’t at all focused on furthering my career during this event. I was just meeting people and having fun. Years later, I’ve collaborated, hired and received and given support with dozens of people that I met at that first event. Our friendship and admiration for each other came first, and then we developed a business relationship.
The fastest way you can accelerate a relationship is by getting into an experience without someone. When two people are on the side of a mountain together trying to survive and work through the struggle and discomfort, a level of trust, bond and understanding is formed at a rate that couldn’t happen anywhere else in life.
We really don’t even have to be climbing a mountain or taking an expensive international trip, though. Even having a small adventure or attending an exciting event with someone will build a relationship in a way you couldn’t achieve just by grabbing coffee. There’s a bond in that shared experience.
And once that bond is there, better business can happen. People do business with people they like and trust. So when you shift your focus from networking to having more experiences with people, you form the kind of relationships that lead to successful business deals.
When you form a new connection with someone, they have the potential to open more doors for you or teach you something new. So each time you have new experiences with people, you’re opening up the potential for new opportunities.
2. Say 'yes' to embracing the unknown.
I can’t even count how many times I’ve put myself in situations, looked around and thought, What the heck am I doing? From multi-day silent meditation retreats, to climbing a volcanic mountain for miles on a slippery incline, each time I find that edge of fear, I find a new version of myself -- one that I respect and admire.
For many entrepreneurs, it can start feeling like something is missing from their day-to-day lives. When people are working hard, they often get stuck in a rut. We all get set in our usual routine and ways of doing things. And from that place, there isn’t much room for growth, opportunity or creativity.
There’s a magic that happens when you get out of your usual routine and comfort zone. This is the land where creativity and possibility live, and these are the seeds of success. It doesn’t necessarily have to be crazy, out-of-this-world experiences. And it's not a money thing, either. Adventure is actually everywhere, and it can happen at almost no cost.
Start looking for ways you can have more adventure in your hometown or just spend a day following any idea or opportunity that arises. When you say yes to the unknown, suddenly your possibilities are infinite.
3. The spirit of adventure makes you a better leader.
In entrepreneurship, you’re going to deal with a lot of ups and downs. You’ll battle yourself, and you’ll have to have the courage and strength to break your own habits. This is another piece of the magic of adventure and experiences.
Not only do they open up opportunities and fuel incredible connections, they also change us in the process.
When you go on an adventure and you come back home, everything else stays the same, but something in you is just a little different. You’re rounded out a little. You’ve had to work through some discomfort, or you’ve experienced a new emotion or way of seeing things. And you’ve opened your mind a little.
You become more calm in a crisis, more empathetic to the experiences of others and more accepting of people’s differences. You’ve faced your fears when your car broke down on the side of a country road alone at night, or you were stuck in a dust storm and you had to get through it. So when your business takes a hit or goes into crisis, your muscle for staying calm and making good choices through fear is stronger.
The consequence of not getting out and finding adventure or taking chances is that life is going to pass you by. There’s no guarantee that doing something crazy, breaking your own habits or going out of your way for a little adventure is going to bring you that perfect connection or the experience that will change everything. But staying in your same routine and expecting something to change definitely won’t push you forward at accelerated speed. If you want to reach new levels of success, consider that you may need to mix things up. Take a risk and see what the magic of adventure has in store for you. You never know who you will meet or what you’ll learn about yourself along the way.