10 July 2019

Lawrence Jones with entrepreneurial panel - discussing time, motivation, creativityAn entrepreneur is someone who is able to create something of value from seemingly nothing.

However, I think there is more to it than that. Entrepreneurs are able to see the opportunities that others may overlook; that may look like nothing to someone else.

Whenever I write about opportunity, there is one name that always springs to mind. Earl Nightingale was a former Marine who was one of just 15 people who survived the attack on Pearl Harbour. He spoke of a ‘Field of Diamonds’, saying that we are all standing in a field of diamonds. Whilst some of us are able to simply bend down and pick them up, other people are unable to see the gems that are right under their noses.

It is a subtle shift in mindset, but once you start to look around you, properly looking at what you have access to, you’re able to see opportunity at every single turn. It is remarkable really. That could be putting together a mentoring programme, to help your teammates learn from one another. Or it could be how you use the space that you have in the workplace properly, maximising every inch of space to create an extraordinary environment.

As the phrase goes, we all too often can’t see the wood for the trees. The pressure that we put on ourselves to be better, to make it work, becomes a distraction that prevents us from seeing the opportunities that we really have at our fingertips.

I recently read a note online that I found interesting, along this vein. It said that in your twenties you spend your time figuring it out. In your thirties you should have more of a plan and now you’re doing it. You’re building day to day, capitalising on what you learned from your twenties. In your forties you are crushing it. Then in your fifties you should be teaching it – interestingly, that’s exactly what I am doing at 50, through this blog, podcast and such. In your 60s, it’s all about reinvention and rekindling ideas, inspiring others to make a difference to other people’s lives. If you map out your life, there is no reason to beat yourself up.

Our own time zones

Twenty years ago I was down and out, I couldn’t afford my mortgages, had no car. I spent my twenties thinking I was a failure because I hadn’t made any of my business ventures work. I had put so much pressure on myself. So much so that I still beat myself up for wasting my twenties, I said as much just the other day. However, looking back I didn’t waste a second, every single lesson was invaluable. My thirties were the first ten years of UKFast, suddenly we were building a business. Then in my forties, it was all working, we were accelerating. I look back now and, wow, what a journey. That’s why now, we make it such a priority to give back to our community by helping them to avoid the mistakes that we made.

However, whilst this may remove some of the pressure if you’re still in your twenties or thirties, if you’re older and don’t feel like you’ve got it all figured out, don’t panic. Ultimately age is just a number.

Don’t beat yourself up like I did. Just go and enjoy it, figure it out as you go along. We all run on our own time zones. The single most important thing is making sure that you are taking advantage of every single resource that you have at your fingertips and you’d be amazed at what starts to happen along that journey.

I speak more about this in the latest episode of the Mind Your Own Business podcast. Subscribe and listen on your podcasting platform.


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