On Being Gritty. Advice from a Cat.
As I read Dr. Seuss's I Can Read with My Eyes Shut to my two young sons, we were laughing at all of the pictures Dr. Seuss had drawn to illustrate his hilarious ideas. Then, we hit a page towards the end of the book, and I was suddenly taken back by the sincerity of the words and how they fit perfectly with my stage of life (and probably yours as an entrepreneur).
"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go.
You might learn a way
to earn a few dollars.
Or how to make doughnuts...
or kangaroo collars." Dr. Seuss
Admittedly, the last lines about doughnuts and kangaroo collars are rather silly, but I left them in the quote as a reminder that we all are trying to do something unique...something memorable so people notice us and want to hang around (sign up for our emails, buy our products, purchase our consulting services, etc.)
So...here's to earning a few dollars and making doughnuts and kangaroo collars!
What The Cat Was Saying
Not everyone is as sophisticated as me and has such a diverse reading background as Ido (wink, wink). So, in case you are not read up on your Dr. Seuss, in I Can Read with My Eyes Shut, the Cat in the Hat tells a younger cat all the different ways he can read, including with his eyes shut. :)
His main gist, though, is a poignant one--reading takes you places...both literally and figuratively.
Where Are You Going?
When we read, our minds wonder to the dark cave where gold coins worth millions is discovered or to the boardroom where the founder of the company is dethroned by greedy shareholders or to the windy prairie where a rambling cowboy is reunited with his lost love. Many of us use reading as an escape; we leave our lives figuratively...just for a bit. There is nothing wrong with that! Our brains need a little down time in order to be productive on the up time.
But, for reading to literally take you places, we have to be reading content to further our entrepreneurial goals.
I realize there is only 24 hours in a day, and you are working like a dog for about 19 of those hours to make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality (and also to be a good parent, spouse, friend, sibling, son/daughter, worker if you are still employed with another job, etc.). In other words, your time is limited!
But, entrepreneurship is about grit...it is about the will to outlast the average person. The old adage--if it was easy then everyone would do it--comes to mind here.
Therefore, I challenge you to spend at least 10 minutes a day furthering your future, going somewhere. Read or listen to content that teaches you about business, your niche, or how to approach entrepreneurship wisely.
Lastly, I must ask...
Where are you going?
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
What are you reading to get there?
A Step Further
If you don't have a book in mind, I strongly suggest Chris Guillebeau's The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future. Essentially, it is a case study of entrepreneurs. Some of the entrepreneurs accidentally landed in their new businesses while others very methodically pursued their entrepreneurial goals. Chris, who also has a very successful business, lends his experiences and perspectives throughout the book as well. It is both inspirational and informational.
If that one doesn't tickle your fancy, check out the other books I have read along with my reviews. You may find one there to interest you. And, I am always up for suggestions. Let me know in the Comments of one I should read soon.