This past week I had the good fortune of attending Pioneer Nation, an inaugural conference for entrepreneurs in Portland, Oregon. I’m still trying to sort out all of the lessons I picked up, and what they might mean to the choices and decisions I want to make over the next year. But a few things stick out.
“You don’t have to wait for permission to start.” – Chris Brogan
“I feel like you are asking me for permission. I should have brought a stack of permission slips. Yes, YOU HAVE PERMISSION!” – Willo O’Brien
How often are we just waiting to do what we want to do because no one has told us it is ok to do it? I guess society trains us well. Mother may I? Ask your teacher! Even a job hunt is you basically going to a boss and asking for permission to work there.
It doesn’t have to be like that. Taking control of your life direction isn’t necessarily easy, but the rewards are worth it. Our friends and family and peers and colleagues and archenemies are all here to enrich and guide us, but we do not have to rely on them to direct each decision we make.
Let’s take back control of our lives! We are responsible people, and we can make responsible decisions for ourselves.
I’m glad to say I don’t need your permission slip, Willo. I’ve just written one for myself.
Do the things you know how to do first. Talk to as many people as possible. Create the things you want. – Shenee Howard
When you are comparing yourself to peers and mentors and heroes who are farther down the path than you are, it can be hard not to feel frustrated or inadequate. But you don’t have to start your journey halfway down the path! They know more things than you because they have been doing it longer. You’ll get there too, if you just keep walking.
Sometimes you just have to remember to start with the basics, and not get too caught up in the big picture. Life can seem overwhelming at times, but often when that happens it is just fear of what might happen down the line filling you with doubt and anxiety. We need (I need) to remember not to let the “what if” hold us back from the greatness the universe wants to bestow upon us. Because it does.
I know that it does.
Wait on the waiting and start on the starting. Good things will happen.
Which leads me to:
“Ready, Fire, Aim.” – Lori Allen
“Stop waiting, and just do it.” – EVERYBODY
The biggest hurdle we have, sometimes, is ourselves. I find lots of reasons to postpone and delay and procrastinate things I want to do. Because doing things can be hard. And sometimes scary. But our time on this earth is limited, and baseless anxiety shouldn’t be a reason to put off the things we want to do.
Don’t waste the precious time you’ve been given. Your reasons to wait probably aren’t as good as you think they are. Mine sure haven’t always been. Act. Do. Say yes.
I met some amazing people at the conference, and I just want to thank each of the organizers and presenters and everyone I had the good fortune of connecting with. I came with some half-formed ideas that I was hoping to clarify. Instead I think I’ve made a pretty big pivot to something that excites me even more. I wasn’t expecting the transformation, but it came because I said yes.
I said yes to flying across the country and, gasp, spending money on myself to attend what could have just been a boring set of lectures. (It wasn’t.) I’m a frugal machine and that decision wasn’t easy for me, but I can definitely say it was worth every penny.
I said yes to overcoming my introverted half and walked around initiating conversations with strangers, instead of just sitting quietly and listening to everything, which is what I generally like to do in crowded rooms. It was worth it.
I said yes to the exercises the speakers developed for us, even when I didn’t have a clear picture of what my goals were and felt kind of silly. [Insert comment here about Impostor Complex. Arrgh!] I was just trying out ideas to see where they might lead, and it turned out they led to more than I anticipated.
I said yes to accepting the goodwill, advice, and friendship that was offered to me along the way. These Pioneers are some amazing people, and I’m grateful to have met them.
Saying yes opens doors. What doors have you opened lately?