If I’ve learned anything over my career thus far, it’s that we come up with the stupidest excuses to not do something.
To be clear, we often devise dumb excuses to do things, too. But no excuse for why we’ve done something can top the hogwash we use to explain why we didn’t do something else.
Ultimately, our excuses boil down to three categories.
Often we allege we needed someone else’s permission to do something and, because we didn’t have it, that task was impossible. The reality is quite different. Often, when permission is required, it’s only ever granted to those who explicitly request it.
If you never step up and offer to do something, no one will assume you’re willing to do it.
I assumed for the longest time that starting a business would be too difficult an accomplishment for someone under 30 to do. My advisors told me I was too young. They told me I wouldn’t be successful. While appealing for help filling out my first state filing forms, advisors actively discouraged me from applying for a business license.
I didn’t need their permission.
The state granted my business registration and I’ve been a business owner now for over 6 years. 1 All it took was moving forward without the naive assumption that I needed someone else’s blessing to pursue my dream.
When I was still dating, someone once told me “if you’re single, you’re never ‘too busy’ to do something.” They were pointing out that I was the master of my own time and any sense of busy in my schedule was my own creation.
They were completely right.
Even if you’re not single, you’re still very much the master of your own schedule. Outside of work, you are in complete control of what occupies your time. Sleeping in, watching football, playing Halo – these are all activities you elect to do instead of something else. Saying you’re too busy to start a business, blog, learn to cook, exercise, write a letter … it’s a lie.
You often don’t know what you don’t know until you push the edges of your knowledge. When you do discover a hole in what you know, filling it in with useful information is a matter of will.
You can buy a book to learn a programming language. You can find an instructor to learn a foreign language. You can take a martial arts class. You can learn to shoot and hunt. You can learn to drive.
You can learn.
There is no limit to what you’re capable of. You don’t need my or anyone else’s permission to live your dreams or change the world. Even if you are busy with work or family or have other demands on your time, setting aside just fifteen minutes each day can change your life. Even if you don’t know how to do something, you can find a guide or mentor to help teach you.
So what’s really holding you back from chasing your dreams?
- The business is small and in no way accounts for the bulk of my income, but it’s something that’s wholly mine. ↩