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Life is full of so many unexpected moments that happen in the blink of an instance and we can never really seem to think back to the decisions we were faced with. We constantly have to ask what has inspired us to live out the days we have already experienced and prepare for those yet to come.
Try this simple exercise for a moment. Right where you are. STOP. Close your eyes (and really close them, please). Think back to your childhood days when you ran that lemonade stand on those hot summer days in your hometown or when you sold your parents on a dream that “when I grow up….” – just listen to that inner child making decisions and leaping into puddles of imagination. Where is that voice today?
As I think back to when I was a child, I remember the boyish things I would get caught up in. I don’t recall a moment of hesitation or self- doubt – I just did it so I could know what it was like! Throughout life, we strive so much to “make it big” that we often lose focus of that core voice that got us to where we are today! It’s important that we continually connect with that core that inspires us to take leaps of gargantuan faith (and tremendous risk) to overcome the many obstacles that stand in the way of our vision.
Risking it All
Leaping in business is about risking it all. That common adrenaline rush of the unknown experience and the sheer optimism that maybe one day my commitment will have an incredible return. Some would call that profit (haha)! But what really makes the risk successful is execution. Proper execution that is! The leap comes with the insurmountable experience of failings like line sheet rejections, orders getting cancelled, beta tests backfiring, investors backing away and the increasing level of self-doubt. Entrepreneurial success is not solely dependent on the business’ survival, but on your personal decision to take that FIRST LEAP.
A Legacy of Leaping
Too many people get caught in the disease of procrastination or “talking” versus taking the time to invest in their dreams. Investing in dreams is about taking the steps towards manifesting a business plan or talking to that friend about an idea. Going to work from 9-5 and then coming home to grind out free time to sacrifice for what you really want to do with your life. Everyone has a talent to share with the world! The world (or you) will never know what that is until you LEAP. Leaping is defined by taking a jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force. Repeat that definition to yourself and you may find inspiration in the subliminal message. Leaping will take you places you never knew were possible!
With my own experience in the LEAPING business, I have experienced both the impressive results of dedicated entrepreneurs like my great-grandfather who owned one of the first black-owned supper clubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Cozy Bar & Lounge. This original leap of faith came with the resistance of the times, but was met with massive drive to establish a vision. My great-grandfather was a curator of entertainment and from his initial leap birthed the Riverview Supper Club on the banks of the Mississippi in Minneapolis. This later became the launching pad for some of the greatest musical talents (Prince & Flight Time, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Alexander O’Neal, etc.) as they torpedoed towards the entertainment mainstream.
This personal connection to LEAPING has helped cultivate my appreciation for the craft that is entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a gift! A gift so beautiful and magnificent. It allows you to develop, nurture and influence others to believe in that dream. That’s an incredible feeling that nothing else can provide. The more I have experienced LEAPING, the more successful I have become in many ventures that I have pursued or work with.
Shift to Entrepreneur Mentality
The moment leaping became a tangible experience was when I totaled my car after a terrible drinking accident. Many people would read this and say “why does that bit of information matter?” By including it, I am leaping for myself and others too guarded to open up to express how they have become successful. That moment where I reflected on where I was and where I wanted to go was when leaping felt real.
After I experienced the accident, I felt a supreme shift in my mentality and approach to life as an entrepreneur. Things slowed down and I made decisions a great deal differently. I appreciated subtle things related to how I conducted business and managed relationships. For example, when we placed our first order for my Bow-Tie company, or when Ernie Johnson rocked a knot during NBA on TNT. Those are gratifying moments. Through these experiences – I am sure you can relate – life began to push and stretch my gifts to accommodate the present circumstances. This “sooo” uncomfortable feeling created an incredible opportunity for me to LEAP on my faith of my abilities to do more. So sharing this perspective is a great piece of that journey!
When I thought about the readership – the visionaries, entrepreneurs, dreamers, hustlers, grinders, 9-to-5ers and the generation of innovators yet to come – I wanted to add real-time, personal anecdotes to push you to your dreams. Nothing is possible until you LEAP. Do not wait for someone to approve your idea, sketch, technology, solution, cure or happiness – you can have and achieve whatever you want if you LEAP.
Take the Leap Today!
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