by Robert Lindquist / MerchantMuscle.com
One of the most interesting questions you can ask yourself is “is there and entrepreneur trapped inside of me?” For me, I realized at a very young age that indeed there was. I feel that the fact that I lived in tough times when I was a child began my “quest” to discover the entrepreneur inside of me. I knew that there must be a better way.
For the better part of my childhood, my mother worked to support four children on her own. As a result, we had the basics, but no extras. We wore hand me down clothes, shared one bicycle with three kids, and our toys and devices amounted to being “outside”. Our imaginations ran wild as we created our own games and toys out of whatever we could find. From my perspective, most kids today have so many luxuries and are bombarded with so much information that they don’t have time to dream or use their imaginations anymore.
As a child, I dreamed about what I wanted to become. Oh, I had many different scenarios but they all involved being in some sort of business. I wanted to be successful, not poor. Growing up in tough times, no money, and limited resources instilled in me this deep seeded drive to “become somebody”, to be successful and become financially secure.
Unfortunately, college was not an option for me. No one in my family had gone to college so there was no discussion of the benefits of higher learning. However, I knew deep inside that I wanted a better life for myself and I was willing to work hard and take risks to get there.
I believe that there are many people in this great country that have that same feeling deep inside. That feeling of being trapped, knowing that there must be a better way. Perhaps it’s you? Is there an entrepreneur trapped inside of you?
I often became frustrated with whatever job I was doing at the time thinking to myself “there must be something better out there”. That small inner voice kept calling out, there must be something better I can do.
My First “Real Job”
My first real job was in junior high school working at a small gas station after school pumping gas. (They actually did that for you back then) I remember getting paid $1.25 per hour. I was in high cotton! But then I discovered that the mechanic that worked there was making five times as much or more than I was. My mind immediately began strategizing on how I could learn to do that. “If he can do it, I can do it” was my motto. That thinking released the entrepreneur trapped inside of me.
Immediately I began to watch his every move, shadowing him, bringing him tools and cleaning up afterward, all the while taking everything in like a sponge. I saved my money and purchased my first set of hand tools when I was 14. Six years later I took the step and started working for commission full time as a mechanic. That was huge for me. No more guaranteed hourly wage. I remember thinking, the sky is the limit.
The harder I work, the more I can make. (Today the thought of working for an hourly wage knowing that the limit was there on my earning potential is not an option.) In my mid to late 20’s, I became a Certified Master Technician owning my own auto repair shop with 2 employees and making a decent living for my family.
That Tiny Voice Continued
However, the voice inside continued. There must be something better. I remember greeting my customers, many of which were very successful business owners, and wondering to myself, how did they do it. What was their story behind their success? I wanted to know more. I wanted to do better and who better to ask then a successful business person. Their stories fascinated and inspired me. I remember thinking, wow, there is a big world out there full of opportunities. The only thing limiting me is me. If they can do it, I can do it.
Soon I decided to begin studying for my real estate brokers license as many of my successful clients were in some way working in the real estate industry. That was twenty years ago and I have achieved my goals as a successful real estate broker. Now, with the lessons I have learned in business (some of which were very costly) I feel it’s time to give back. It’s time to inspire and share my experiences with others so that they can take advantage of my 30 plus years as an entrepreneur.
Yesterday I read a quote that really set the tone for this article and it was by the legendary, hall of fame college football coach Lou Holtz “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”. Think about that statement for a minute. Ability, motivation, and attitude are the keys. To me, I feel that attitude is the most important. A great attitude goes a long way!
“The Can’t Do’s”
How big of a role does attitude play you may ask? Well, I have a saying, “they have the can’t do’s”. Throughout my career, I’ve met people who when challenged to take a step or do something out of their comfort zone respond with 100 reasons why they can’t do it. They don’t seem to even consider how they possibly could do it. Their attitude and mindset are their biggest enemies. Henry Ford once said, “if you think you can or you think you can’t, your right!”
I challenge you right here to stop and think about what you are doing. Are you happy with your current situation? Do you have a dream job that you are holding inside that you have never shared with anyone for fear of them thinking that you are crazy? What are you passionate about? Could you talk about it for hours if someone would listen? What is that dream? Is there an entrepreneur trapped inside of you?
At MerchantMuscle.com we are building our site and our community to help people just like you. We help entrepreneurs and small business owners “take it to the next level”. We strive to provide our readers with the tools, resources, and great content necessary to achieve their business goals and dream.
“Listen To Your Heart“
Looking forward to your success…
~ Robert ~