This post was sparked into life by another blog post I saw, this morning. This blog post is all about what happens when you stop talking about an idea – something that sounds so good in your head – and actually run with it. It’s about what can happen when you stop talking a good game and actually ‘go for it’.
I popped into my friend’s restaurant, this afternoon. It was absolutely heaving (you can’t see, from the pictures, but there were three full tables at the back, too):
Two years ago, this friend was working as a chef in a restaurant in Kensington, but had a dream to open up his own place, using his own ideas, recipes, and creativity. He followed up on this dream.
He opened up a restaurant in Queen’s Park, with a business partner and fellow chef. He kicked off with no working capital, no money for extra staff, and rent and bills to pay (both the restaurant and at home).
I have to be honest and say, I saw him as intelligent, creative, artistic, but never as someone with business sense. Well guess what? He does have business sense.
The Queen’s Park venue simply got too busy, so the restaurant had to move to a bigger place … in Notting Hill. My friend – with his partner – secured funding, took on new staff, wrote up all of their contracts, deals with all of their wages and tax issues etc … and the new place is a roaring success. It’s been packed with customers every time I’ve been there.
In the least patronising way I can say it, I’m really proud of him. He decided to ‘go for it’ and it’s paying off.
It’s not always just about business though, this mentality. When I left the restaurant, I saw someone else ‘going for it’, on Portobello Road. Check out this man and woman (sorry, not the best picture):
He was going hell for leather on those drums (and some other instruments), and she was belting out songs at the top of her voice. Neither of them were there to get a record deal. Neither of them were standing there for the money. They were just performing for the love of it – truly ‘going for it’.
What of me – That Writing Chap? I did something really silly. I started with just one client (it’s usually best to gather momentum, with a few clients under your belt, before switching from permanent to freelance employment), no brand name or recognition, no business cards, no website, no social media engagement – nothing (I had a portfolio of work, but it wasn’t so relevant to the new clients I was going for).
I just decided to ‘go for it’. I knew I already had certain skills. I trusted myself to show those skills to individual clients, get them to see what I could do and recommend me, and start to build a name – a reputation.
I’m not saying it’s been easy, but I’d be kicking myself if I’d not gone for it, or folded at the first tricky hurdle.
And so to the blog post that kicked this one off. It was written by a friend who I’ve only really known for about six months. She’s been through quite a lot – both in business and in life – but bulldozed through things, time and again, and decided to really ‘go for it’. She runs her own business – Miss Make It Happen – and is very well known on the business networking scene. Rather than tell you about her blog post, I suggest you read it for yourself, here.
There’s someone else who’s well worth a mention too. His name is Brad Burton. He’s the founder of the nationwide business networking groups I go to and a well-known motivational speaker.
I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, but I’ve not always been the biggest fan of motivational speakers. I also thought, at first, ‘who is this guy?’
I’d never come across him before – I knew he’d set up the business network I was part of, but that was it – but everyone seemed to be talking about him.
But … I’ve now seen him in action (talks and online), and spoken to enough people who’ve worked with/spoken to him, to see how he works.
He lights fires under people. He takes your idea, runs with it, and convinces you it’s possible. If you have an idea that you’re not sure of, or you want someone to finally convince you not to do it, this is not the man to see.
From what I’ve seen, he empowers people, but also strips them back to their most naked and vulnerable – the point at which you look at your idea and say ‘well why not, then?’
At that point you either have to ‘go for it’ or realise that you’re just making loads of excuses for something you really don’t want to do.
Why am I mentioning this guy in particular? Because he’s a staunch advocate of the ‘go for it’ mentality.
And why do I think that mentality is good? A few reasons.
One reason is, people – friends, family, colleagues – get tired of hearing ‘I want to do this’ or ‘this would be a good idea’, with no follow through. After a certain period of time, it becomes boring hearing that.
Maybe your friends, sisters, brothers, parents think your business idea (or any other idea) is a bad one. They may even be right… but don’t make that the sole reason to not do something.
How painful will it be, in five year’s time, to offer up ‘well my friend thought it was a bad idea’ as the only reason you didn’t do something? How resentful will you feel?
The most important of these reasons though: when the time comes to ‘meet your maker’, no-one will care or talk about what you ‘could’ve done’, were ‘going to do’, what you ‘wish you’d have done’, what you ‘wanted to do’ or what you ‘would’ve been good at’.
They’ll only care about what you did do.
Go for it.