Throughout the world, there are discussions about nations and their strengths. Regardless of the outcome of these discussions, the strongest nation in the universe is “determiNATION.”
Yes. It is determination, the unique trait that enables the weak to become strong, the good to become great, the defeated to become winners, and the dream to become a reality. It is the guiding force that will allow the desires of the heart to direct the mind and the body to action so that those desires are achieved.
The height of your dreams is limited only by the strength of your determination. So how strong is your determination, and how willing are you to remain steadfast even in the clutches of defeat?
A Life of Determination:
What would you have done with a life like this?
- 1816: This individual’s family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818: This individual’s mother died.
- 1831: He failed in business.
- 1832: He ran for state legislature and lost. He also lost his job and tried and then wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833: He borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834: He ran for state legislature again and won.
- 1835: He was engaged to be married, but his sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836: He had a nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838: He sought to be speaker of the state legislature but was defeated.
- 1840: He sought to become an elector but was defeated.
- 1843: He ran for Congress but was defeated.
- 1846: He ran for Congress again and won. He went to Washington, D.C., and did a good job.
- 1848: He ran for re-election to Congress but lost.
- 1849: He sought the job of land officer in his home state and was rejected.
- 1854: He ran for Senate of the United States and lost.
- 1856: He sought the Vice Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention and got fewer than 100 votes.
- 1858: He ran for the U.S. Senate and lost once again.
- 1860: He ran for and was elected President of the United States.
This individual was Abraham Lincoln. He gave us one of the most dynamic examples of how determination can make a difference in the life of anyone with the courage to undertake its challenging pathway.
It was once said that determined people possess the stamina and the courage to pursue their ambitions despite criticism, ridicule, or unfavorable circumstances. Most determined people find themselves motivated more when they are highly criticized or ridiculed, or when the situation seems hopeless. They realize that opportunity awaits those who have the power of determination to guide their efforts.
In business and life, each of us is challenged by limiting beliefs, false assumptions, unsubstantiated interpretations or an inner adversary claiming that we are not “good enough.” Too often, we allow these catabolic impulses to drive our plans, dreams and desires to the sideline or be abandoned. Quitting becomes easy, and too often, the road more traveled. Our charge becomes to “dig our heels in” and stay the course.
As you look at your life and business, where do you find yourself? What have you allowed to sidetrack your desires, dreams and goals? In what areas are you allowing false assumptions, unsubstantiated interpretations or limiting beliefs to threaten your ability to move forward? Where do you need to re-engage your navigation system and seek a new direction? What do you say to the face in the mirror each day? Who in the crowd are you listening to as you strive to hit your goals and live your dreams? What is your next move?
The answers to these questions lie within you, and only you can determine their value.
So, be determined. When times seem bleak, do whatever it takes to hold on. Believe in yourself and your ability. Follow the great example of Abraham Lincoln and keep focused on learning from each setback and apply those learning principles to help you soar to greatness.
Become a respected and faithful citizen of the strongest nation in the universe, determi-NATION, and use its power to build your life, your career, and a prosperous future.
-Herman L. Dixon is president and CEO of Think BIG! Coaching and Training. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 Signs You’re Not Cut Out to be an Entrepreneur
Thinking about starting your own business? Beware! Below are 10 signs that you just may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur.
#10. You can’t stand the heat. Before you jump into self-employment, make sure you’re very comfortable being uncomfortable. Every day, you’ll need to try something new for the first time. You have to be ready to put yourself out there and do things you’ve never done before–all with less financial security.
#9. You have professional ADD. If you get bored and frustrated easily, or you’re the type of person who likes to go in a new direction every 60 days, business ownership may not be for you. Being an entrepreneur requires an unwavering laser focus. Achieving business goals takes time and persistence.
#8. You get stage fright. As a business owner, you are the primary spokesperson for your company. You need to be ready and willing to take center stage and spread the word whenever possible. If you’re uncomfortable in the spotlight or you don’t like public speaking, you better master these competencies before you launch.
#7. You hate roller coasters. As a business owner, you never know what’s around the corner–it could be a really steep hill or a gut-wrenching free fall. There will be countless ups and downs, and you need to be prepared to hang on and enjoy the ride.
#6. You think complexity is cool. Complexity may be cool, but it’s hard to create, market and sell. The truth is that the simplest solutions are the most successful. As a business owner, you need the ability to distill concepts to their simplest forms so that they can be easily communicated and implemented.
#5. You can’t explain the steps of shoe tying. Tying a shoe is complicated. So is running a business. You have to be able to delegate tasks and to direct others. This means you need the ability to break big ideas into easy, actionable steps for implementation. Big ideas are a dime a dozen. Knowing how to implement them is the game changer.
#4. You don’t believe in marketing. Marketing makes the business world go round. If you don’t believe it and embrace it, you’ll never succeed. Be ready to dedicate effort and a decent budget to the task of marketing your company. And give your marketing time to work, using a variety of mediums. There’s no silver bullet.
#3. You’re easily winded. Once you get past the adrenaline rush of starting your own business, you’ll encounter a portion of the journey called the “middle mile.” Frankly, the middle mile is where you face challenge and drudgery. Your feet will hurt and your breathing will be labored. Despite these inconveniences, you must place one foot in front of the other and press on.
#2. You’re a problem passer. In business, there are problems that must be decisively resolved by the owner. Sometimes, customers and employees will be unhappy with your decisions and that’s OK. Successful entrepreneurs never postpone difficult choices.
#1. You’re on the quest for quick cash. Profit is the result of productive business. It is not WHY you are in business. You are in business to solve problems and to serve others. If you find a way to deliver a better solution or service than your competitors, you will make plenty of money. But it doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to make quick cash, business ownership may not be the right gig for you.
As the above pitfalls exemplify, starting a business isn’t easy, and it certainly isn’t glamorous. But it can be extraordinarily worthwhile and satisfying. If any of the 10 warning signs above don’t give you pause, you just may be a good entrepreneurial candidate.
-Daniel C. Steenerson imparts his success wisdom, principles and philosophies through his proprietary “Science of Visioneering” approach to help companies, entrepreneurs, executives and other professionals realize business greatness.
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