Before You Get Off the Hamster Wheel to Become An Entrepreneur: Get Over Your Fear of Failure

Pet Hamster Holding A Blank  Sign

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“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

“How do you get off the hamster wheel?” This was a question someone posed to me this weekend. He stopped by my table at one of my book signing events. He asked me about the content of my book Living a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters. I told him that I wrote the book to encourage others to find a meaningful purpose to life; then, surround themselves with mentors and coaches to help them live that life.

We were discussing the fact that so many people stay in jobs that they disliked. This leaves them feeling unfulfilled in these positions. He said he admires people, similar to his friend, that are pursuing their passions. He explained that his friend had a lucrative practice as an attorney. His friend left the law business to become an entrepreneur in an area that involves his passion. His friend’s saved money from his law practice. Therefore, he does not worry about earning a large income in this new endeavor.

This gentleman told me that he personally trades in options. He also owns a rental property as added income. He felt that he could not pursue what he would like to do (he never did say exactly what that was). He needed the security of having enough money in the bank to sustain his lifestyle. I reminded him what we do in life is a choice. Whatever we choose to do, or not do, comes with consequences. We have to decide if we can live with those consequences.

My good friend Dr. Larry Benovitz, a psychiatrist and author of There is No ReDo: Strategies for a Lifetime, once said: “Many people are living behind prison bars they created themselves.” I thought about this quote as I spoke with my visitor. It didn’t seem that he was afraid of taking certain risks. He was trading in options…you can make a lot of money one day and lose it the next. Yet, I did sense a fear of failure or of the unknown from him in our conversation. 

Early that day, I had listened to one of Tony Robbins’ sessions on Personal Power. Tony encourages the listeners to embrace failure. We should not be afraid of failing. As we push towards achieving our goals, we may experience failures. We should learn from them and get back in the game. If we don’t push pass fear of failure, we may never experience the joys of the manifestations of our dreams into realty.

Brigette Hyacinth, Director at MBA Caribbean Organization, wrote a great LinkedIn article, Leadership Lesson: The Wisdom of Failure, that gives valuable insight on how to approach failure in our lives. I recommend that you invest the time to read the article by clicking on the title.

Back to the questions: “How do you get off the hamster wheel?” You decide to do so after you examine:

  1. What it is you want – Vision – The End Result
  2. Why you want it – Purpose – If you don’t have a strong why, you won’t survive the failures
  3. How do you get there – Mission – Build a Plan with goals that have timelines and milestones
  4. What is the impact if you do or don’t pursue this Vision

A week before he died, my dad told me he regretted not living his dream of being an artist. He reminded me that we cannot take material things and money with us. Only our life’s experiences and our relationships with people. I don’t want this regret to happen to me. I want live my life doing what I understand to be my purpose. Don’t you?

Yes, we have to be realistic that we have to take care of our basic human needs.But how much are we willing to sacrifice in order to stay behind our prison bars or stay on the hamster wheel due to fear of failure. Prison bars that may exist because we bought into what the media or others tell us is a successful life.

Why not approach life like my 86 year-old friend, Lyle, does? He told me yesterday that he is happy because he realized earlier in life that “It is my choice.” He chooses to define what happiness and success mean to him.He experiments different ways to enjoy life by learning new things and not worrying about failures. He sees failures as life’s lessons. Because of this approach he has been able to enjoy many things in life. By the way, he was captain of his high school football team, a race car driver and married to a beautiful model! Sounds like an exciting life to me.

You will not be a successful entrepreneur if you are afraid to take some risks. Things don’t always work out the way we plan them. Take each failure by learning its lesson and build a stronger Will to achieve your Vision.

Here is to your Success in 2015. Remember to Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose on Invincible Monday.

Find out how I learned these tips and more from my Diamond Cutters, My Mentors and Coaches, pick up a copy of Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters today.

Diamond Cutters


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