You'd probably laugh at how many times I've texted my friend Charlton the words "I have an idea."
You see, I'm a dreamer. I allot specific time in my days to just think and clear my head and focus on ideas or future endeavors or big dreams. If I don't set aside time to do this, I'll get distracted by the self-inflicted pressure, get overcome with anxiety thinking I'll never amount to anything, or I'll convince myself that I don't have what it takes to succeed.
The reason I text Charlton is because he is good at reminding me of why I start things. And he does a good job of helping me keep the idea or the vision or the dream top of mind. He, like so many friends in my community, push me to be a better version of myself. I am thankful for that.
And what I've learned from he and so many of my other friends that are absolutely stinking K I L L I N G I T right now is that every idea is only as good as its execution. And even though most days I feel confident about what I am doing and where I am headed, some days I feel unqualified and alone, convinced I'll never amount to anything more than a wannabe entrepreneur.
Thankfully, though, I don't have the option of staying in that emotional state. The future of my family is affected by the choices I make every day and how well I follow through on the things I say I will do. That's why I'm learning to push through the struggle and carry on with the work at hand. Here are a few things I'm choosing to remember when I want to quit...
1) Execution really is everything.
Even the best ideas don't keep your lights on every month. The ability to execute an idea is what will separate you from your peers struggling to see their dreams come to life. I have struggled with this consistently throughout my professional life but am just beginning to scrape the surface on the benefits of follow through. What you want to accomplish is possible, you just have to push through a lot in order to step into its full potential. You can.
2) Your best days are not behind you.
I recently sat around a dinner table with a group of old friends (I use the term 'old' very loosely). We shared war stories and favorite moments of days spent planning some of Atlanta's first networking events geared specifically for young entrepreneurs - the #HiveGathering with HiveATL. And while our dinner chats don't compare to the stories and chants and legends of old men drinking whisky and smoking cigars in the back room at a local VFW, it certainly sent me home with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart. But lately I've found myself scared to death that my experiences with HiveATL were the best days and that I'll never do anything as meaningful as that. This is a lie. Not only because I believe what is ahead is far greater that what we leave behind (thanks for that lesson, Clive), but also because believing that we won't accomplish any other great things is to believe that what we do every day is any less important than what happens on the big days. The work of maintaining healthy relationships and choosing to daily make yourself better are big, meaningful things to accomplish. Do something every day that scares you and/or makes you better and I promise you, a breakthrough is on its way.
3) You will when you decide you must.
Doing anything to get by is very easy, yet rarely is it satisfying. We can always fall back on the easy job and the acceptable salary and the lifestyle that gets us by. But it's the things we find purpose and fulfillment and life in (the hard things we've always dreamed of accomplishing yet feel we don't have the time or the money or the resources for) that take our guts and our heart and our willingness to sacrifice certain resources and seasons to make happen. However, it's when we choose to do the best things that we decide we don't want to just do anything.
4) A higher tide lifts all ships.
Like I stated earlier, it's easy to get discouraged when you feel stuck while everyone else around you is succeeding at almost everything. However, when those in your community are rising to the occasion and reaching their dreams and goals, cheer them on! Allow the success of those around you to motivate you to work harder and be the best you can be at what you do. Shared success brings life and motivation to a difficult season.
The opportunity we all have each day is to move forward. And while some days the story is about survival, other days its about progress. And when you choose to let the simple, difficult, insignificant days pave the way for the big, exciting, high-impact days, you'll find yourself stepping into opportunities with just the right amount of courage and just the right mindset to keep going.
Comment below with any truths you remind yourself with when you have the urge to quit? Or tell us something you overcame recently!