You and I, We Will Lead the Way

Change the WorldWorking for someone else is easy. They tell you what to do, when to do it and sometimes how to do it.

You know that if you spend 8 hours working every day for a month, you’ll get a paycheck. It’s instant gratification.

Being self-employed and working online, there’s no certainty and you never know what might happen next.

A move by Google could make your whole business obsolete, or at least that is the fear many have.

This is one of the fears that keeps haunting me, day in and day out. Sure, I make money from my websites, but what if something happens? What if the company I promote goes out of business? What if, what if, what if?

If I give in to this fear, I quickly find myself looking for new opportunities. I want to find something that is bullet-proof. I want something that can replicate the feeling of working for someone else.

Embrace Uncertainty

Even though the security of working for someone else is an illusion, many people still feel like it’s the best thing. We self-employed have to stick together and we have to be okay with having fear knocking at our door.

These fears are what keep many from attaining their dream life, but not us. We are the ones that will lead the way and show future world-changers that this can be done. Yes, it’s hard work and yes, you may be afraid, but in the end, it’s what makes life worth living.

A World Without Fear is No World At All

Imagine a world without fear. A perfect world where there are no problems. There are no challenges. It’s like playing a video-game on god-mode. You know you can’t die. It’s fun at first, but it quickly becomes boring and pointless.

Thinking like this always calms me down. Fear is what pokes us into growth, but only if you can stare it in the face and work with it. Sometimes I want to crawl into a ball and hide, but there’s always that thought or feeling that keeps reminding me to move forward.

A world without fear is no world at all. Without fear, you and I would not be the individuals we are today. When I played poker, I learned the most when things weren’t going well. It helped not only to take my poker game to the next level, but also improve my awareness, discipline and life in general.

Imperfection is Perfection

We’re always striving. We want more money, friends, connections and more validation. I’ve realized that striving for something is essential, but it isn’t the end goal.

During the short amount of time I’ve been alive, I’ve realized that reaching the end destination is nowhere near as fun as participating in the journey to get there.

It’s easy to dream that once you have a certain amount of money in your bank account you can do what you want, or if the stars and planets align just right, you’ll start that business that you’ve always wanted.

There is No Right Time

There is no right time to start. When I started the Wake Up Cloud, I didn’t know what I was doing. I took everything one step at a time. I came up with a domain name, I set-up hosting, I set-up wordpress and I wrote my first post.

It’s all about taking one step at a time and being present. I’m by no means perfect. I often fall into the pattern of forcing things and wanting to reach the end goal and that’s okay.

Once you realize what you’re doing, you can take a deep breath and focus on what truly matters. It’s easy to lose sight of what is important to you.

There are many distractions. But ultimately it is you and I who will lead the way for future generations. We are the ones that will set the standard.

The world is changed by one person at a time. I’m doing my best, are you?

Image by Woodley

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Comments

  1. I’m trying to do my best here too, Henri.

    Us weirdo “follow our passion” types got to stick together in a conforming, limiting world :)

    Regarding the self-employed thing, I think what separates an employee from an entrepreneur is transferable skills. An employee might get good at cranking widgets for company A, but if the person gets fired, that’s it.

    If an entrepreneur’s business breaks down, that person has skills in providing value to others in a profitable system. Now THAT skill is transferable to anything.

    So the security comes not from the individual business itself, but developing the right skillset. It’s no coincidence that entrepreneurs bounce back like a beach ball while laid-off 9-5′ers tend to struggle.

    Anyway.

    Let’s lead the way, Henri,
    Oleg

    • Definitely. I’ve learned this when I went from poker to niche websites, blogs and whatnot. When you work for yourself, you learn so many things that are above the tactics and strategies.

      In essence, you build a successful mindset. You know how to learn to become successful at anything.

  2. Henri,

    So funny, I wrote on nearly the same topic today, facing one’s worst nightmare. It really is freeing to allow uncertainty in events. The thing is, we can always feel secure in ourselves and our connection to the universe. That’s true security. Realizing that no matter what goes on around me, I can still feel safe inside myself is so freeing. What a relief. Another message I tell myself, because it’s been true in my life: “If something doesn’t work out, no matter how much I wanted it or thought it was good for me, it wasn’t meant to be, because there is something BETTER out there for me.” So glad there are people like you out there.

    Linda

    • Excellent point, Linda. The feeling of feeling safe inside yourself is something I’ve begun to experience more and more. Trusting that you are where you are supposed to be.

      Things aren’t always easy, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel bad. How you interpret external events depends on your perspective.

  3. Jennifer Hart says:

    Hi Henri,
    Another great post! Like Oleg, I’m on the “follow your passion” bandwagon 2! It’s great to know that I’m not alone. Your words are honest & inspiring. Through the experience of becoming an entrepreneur I’ve grown more than working at any j.o.b (just over broke) that I’ve had! Thanks Henri :)

  4. Nadia - Happy Lotus says:

    Hi Henri,

    I love this post because you were just so open and honest. Job well done, my friend! :)

    The beauty about life is that things are always in motion. Nothing lasts forever. All we can do is do our best at the moment and surrender the outcome. No one will ever be able to full predict what the future holds.

    When it comes to being self-employed or employed by another, we just have to learn to ride the wave and give it our all. We cannot change the past and we cannot control the future.

    I think that the act of striving is part of the problem. To strive means to think that there is something that is lacking and that creates the reality of lack which is a negative belief. There is no sense to strive with fear for that will be mirrored back to us. I think we have to view the progress to our dreams and goals as an adventure and believe that there is no sense of lack.

    I have yet to read a success story of someone who was immersed in fear or believed in lack. Nothing of merit was ever achieved by playing it safe or living in fear. Fear is poison as is the idea of lack.

    • Hey Nadia!

      This post flowed out of me with surprising ease. That usually happens when I write from the heart. I just wrote it from beginning to end in 20 minutes, edited it and published it.

      I completely agree that to strive implies to not have in the moment. There’s a fine balance we have to thread. Feeling good in the now while still working towards your goal is where the good stuff is!

  5. I think the key is to focus on the things one can control and to let go of the things they can not.

  6. Henri,

    I think the idea of the right time is something that many of us get far too caught up in. Like you said there really is no right time to go for it. You just have to move in that direction. If we get paralyzed by fear, that’s where we run into trouble. Fear will always be there, but we just have to fight through it.

    • Yup! I find this happening to myself over and over again as I move forward with this blog and take it higher and higher (no pun intended ;)). Just get started, you can always tweak things later.

  7. Victor Boba says:

    Henri,

    I just found your blog about a week ago and really am inspired by your posts. I like this post because it makes you realize that some of the best times in a persons life are when they are uncertain. With uncertainty brings untold opportunities. When you’re tied to a job your path is already laid out before you and there typically is little or no deviation. When you carve your own path the opportunities increase as the path could go here or there or everywhere.

    Some of the best and most invigorating times of my life have been when I’ve been laid-off unexpectedly. It’s during those times that I start to have more hope than usual that my life will improve because the road ahead is not set by my job but by my own actions.

    • It’s easy to focus on the short-term and focus on the feeling bad, feeling uncertain or whatever, but when you zoom out and realize that these are the moments that we live for, that’s when stuff starts to happen, and you start to feel better.

  8. The what-if’s still apply to you even if you do have a “secure” 9-5 job.

    Companies lay off all the time and go under quickly when they fall. There is never any guarantee that anything is secure.

    The best thing for us to do is to not keep our eggs in one basket, take leaps of faith every now and again, and make sure we are surrounded by people that love and support us.

    I know that if I lost everything tomorrow, I have a family that will look after me while I build myself back up (which I am 100% confident I would do). Can you say the same?

    • Definitely. Companies are not secure, but many still want to hold on to that false sense of security that comes from working 9-5.

      If I lost everything? Yes, I would have friends and family to help me, and I am extremely grateful for that!

  9. Archan Mehta says:

    Henri:

    Thanks for your latest post. Best wishes and keep up the good work you are doing.

    There used to be a time during the post-war boom (industrial era) when you could join a company at 18 (without a college degree)–either through an internship or apprenticeship system–and retire after decades of work. The company would take care of your needs as long as you were a loyal and productive worker and got results. You worked for this company your entire life. In return, the company would take care of you and your family and provide for all your needs. You could live the “American Dream.” However, that may no longer be true for a lot of people.

    If the “social contract” is not dead already, it is surely dying a slow death. Study after study shows that companies are being rightsized, downsized, re-engineered, re-structured and much of the work is also being outsourced to developing nations.
    The cost of labor is cheap in such nations, and companies are interested in cost-cutting measures because they want to make profits. That means: you can be the best worker on the team and still lose your job. Your boss invites you into the office and offers you a pink slip and you find yourself in the unemployment line.

    And even if you have a steady job–like 9 to 5–and a paycheck, you still have to deal with the long commutes, office politics, bad bosses, and irritating co-workers. And company policies can also cramp your style if you are used to more freedom.
    That’s why so many disgruntled employees are trying to start their own business, following their passions, and becoming entrepreneurs. The only job security these days is the one you create yourself by developing a variety of skills. And these skills should add value to your clients/customers. Those who were only good at making widgets have found themselves being superseded by generalists with cross-functional skills and the ability to adapt to any environment.

    • Excellent thoughts, Archan!

      And that’s a good thing. I think if everyone followed their passion and purpose, the world would be a much better place.

  10. It looks like you are having fun with your venture Henri. There is a great talk on this exact topic by JK Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter series that I think you will like. Hearing this from someone that was extremely destitute and now overwhelmingly successful is inspiring to anyone. Best to you.//Marc

    http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html

    • Just finished watching that J.K Rowling speech and it was amazing. Thanks for sharing that link, Marc.

  11. I feel I’m successful and still want more success but I’m not going to go into that right now. I did bring it up for a reason though. It really is about the journey of getting there than actually getting there.

    Getting where you want to be is great but then what would be the point of setting up another goal to go after if all you really wanted was to make it in the first place?

    I mean, it is wonderful to achieve something and know you’ve done it and made it possible and made it work out for yourself. I also think that the ride there and the learning and doing to get there is amazing as it teaches us so much about ourselves and others and about life.

    I love the video game analogy you did here… I used to play Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with friends and would have cheats enabled and it would be a lot of fun for a short period of time but then it did get boring. So boring in fact, that I just wanted to see my character fall and get hurt or something for once so that I knew there was something more to play for.

    The reality here I think is that we actually do live in a perfect world simply because what our definition of perfect should actually be is striving for more and making things that much better.

    Perfect really would be boring wouldn’t it?

    • Exactly. I also think that it’s easy to get caught in words. I don’t mean that you were doing this, but it just entered my mind. Sometimes I can write a post and someone disagrees with me, when they are really agreeing with me in different words.

      Nothing is set in stone. Perfection in the sense you put it would be very boring. A life without challenges is, well, boring ;)

  12. All great points.

    We don’t change until we are ready to change. It doesn’t matter if it the best time or not. When we feel the nudge from our souls to begin moving in the direction of our heart’s desire, then the rest has a way of falling into place.

    Alex

    • Totally agree with this, Alex. The question is can we hear our own messages to ourselves? How can we make ourselves more open to change, hearing the message, as opposed to shutting down, shutting it out. I’m fascinated by what drives people to change – whether extreme pain and suffering, or motivation and joy. I’m meeting more and more of the latter, after experiencing mostly the former, so it’s inspiring to be part of this community.

      Linda

  13. Hey Henri,

    Just gave you the Sunshine Award for positivity and inspiring creativiity in other bloggers. “->

    http://bit.ly/aTsDvq

    Linda

  14. I don’t agree that working for someone else is easy. If you go your own way and take that first step, not knowing what the next one will be, there is stress. There is that fear of not being in contol, but it is the good kind of stres that gives spice to life.

    When you work for someone else, you are not in control because you have handed it over to them. That creates a bad kind of stress that wears you down in the end. You have to absolutely love what you do to put up with it.

    But changes that are not in your control can undermine that or take it away from you completely. A job is only a solution if you are not capable of anything better and most of us are.

    Rich

    • Excellent points, Rich.

      I think we’re arguing semantics at this point, because you can always look at one thing from several different angles, so I do agree completely with your points, but I also agree with my own. It just depends on your perspective.

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