Published on Forbes 8/22/2014
As entrepreneurs, we wonder if that moment will ever arrive when we finally know that all our hard work and sacrifice was worth it. This moment is something beyond merely making or losing a lot of money, gaining a title, or improving an SEO ranking.
We’ve all heard the saying that there are two defining moments in life: When we are born and when we find out why. We believe there is a third moment and perhaps it is the most important. It is the moment you commit to actually do something about it for the long haul. It is the moment when there is no turning back.
In this pivotal moment we discover who we are and what we stand for and what we are going to do about it. It isn’t something that we can learn in the latest self-help book (we know, because we wrote one) or from another person. We can’t schedule it on our calendars so that it magically pops up and reminds us, “Hey, this is it! This is the most important moment of your life – enjoy.”
When we are young, we naively believe that many things that happen to us are turning points that will define our entire lives. But as time goes on, we realize life is a journey and our choices and experiences decide whether we move forward or not. “Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even,” said Muhammad Ali.
Only Bill Gates and Steve Jobs knew when they achieved their personal defining moment. It’s the same for all of us. A natural peace washes over you and you begin attaining the skills of an elite athlete because you understand that you are not defined by others but by your intent, decisions, and actions.
Our team at Fishbowl doesn’t try to emulate every other technology giant out there. We will never be Apple or Microsoft, and that’s okay. We will make our own place in the world, and we hope that you will do the same in your own time and in your own way.
Here are our three tips to help you continue forward to your personal defining moment:
1. Wish everyone well and know that their judgments and comments reflect their path. If everyone likes and appreciates you and your work, you probably aren’t innovating; you’re just treading water and moving with the flow, and that doesn’t ultimately get you anywhere.
2. Practice “standing your ground” often and eventually you will grow your “sea legs.” By doing this, you will help others develop a humble yet powerful stance. “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights,” said Ali.
3. Support others in building their careers. Always give more than you ask for. You don’t wait for things to get going and profitable before you give more. You give more now and you will find more abundance in all aspects of what you do personally and professionally.
The old adage is true: When the time to perform has arrived, the time to prepare has passed. You can begin preparing now, no matter who you are, what your past is, or what your current circumstances are. Just choose to prepare.
The defining moment will most likely show up not after we have conquered our competition but when we have conquered our weaknesses; only then will we know true strength.
So many business dreams die before they even get a chance to start. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” said Eleanor Roosevelt.
“A champion shows who he is by what he does when he’s tested. When a person gets up and says ‘I can still do it,’ he’s a champion,” said Evander Holyfield.
You may be asking, “How will I know when I have reached the defining moment?” The answer is simple. You stop running away, turn around, and stand. Yes, it’s that simple. You stand for who you are and what you believe in, and then you get back to work.