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Warning: This one might sting for all you 9-to-5’ers out there pounding personal growth and spirituality books. Wooooosaaaaahhh. Relax.
Don’t bite my head off just yet. We all want to “live our best life,” no? In my humble opinion, entrepreneurship is not only the best shortcut, but the only true path to maxing out your life. Here’s why:
The upside of personal growth books
You can become a better you doing it this way. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t read books that open and expand your mind. That’s not what this is about. What this is about is giving you a proven path, an ace in the hole.
Personal growth books can teach you what you should be going after. Confidence, self-esteem, discipline, focus, prudence, grit, etc. They can point you in the right direction, and that’s definitely not a bad thing. However, you’re not going to build grit reading a book, are you? Just like you can’t have your personal trainer get that extra 10 pounds off your gut, you can’t build grit without going through some shit.
I’ve read a lot of personal growth books, and I’ve gotten a lot out of them. But it wasn’t until i started MavenXmedia that I saw what each of them felt like firsthand. I truly started to understand what each of them meant. Again, both helpful. But if I had to pick one, I’d unquestionably just go the cheat code route and start a business. Or better yet, read a business strategy book or two, then start a business.
Related: The 7 Gifts of Adopting a Personal-Development Mindset
Personal growth books are not empirical. They’re theoretical. And you can’t internalize them yet, because you don’t have the firsthand experience to tie it back to. Put another way, it just doesn’t stick as much, because it hasn’t hit you hard enough emotionally yet.
Why is entrepreneurship is the undisputed KING of becoming the ultimate YOU?
Growth comes from pushing boundaries and adding stress to something. It’s testing limits. It’s going just beyond the edge of competency. Get ready for another weightlifting example. Just like you stress your muscles in order to trigger hypertrophy and get swole, you have to stress your mind, put yourself under immense stress and load yourself up with immense problems in order to build your mind and the skillsets you need to “be the best you.”
I’ve found that when my back is against the wall, and I have seemingly no answers to a problem that desperately needs one … there is always an answer. Being able to create solutions to problems not only builds confidence in everyday life, but it gives you confidence to keep taking on bigger and bigger challenges. It’s like stairs. Step up one at a time in order to reach the top. Try to jump four steps, and that’s how you knock your two front teeth out. And believe me, I’ve done it — and it doesn’t feel so great.
Autonomy. We all want it, we all crave it, and we all hate when it gets taken away from us. For me, this was a massive kickstarter for getting into entrepreneurship in the first place. I hated listening to other people order me around. It’s definitely not the only driver for me nowadays, but it’s important not to suppress that urge to go out on your own. This isn’t to say you can’t find a job with some decent freedom in it, but are you really free if you have a task list that someone else has assigned to you? I don’t think so.
I could keep going, but the last one I’ll mention is skillsets. When you first start your entrepreneurial journey, you end up wearing damn near every hat and amassing a lot of skills and specific knowledge (as Naval Ravikant would call it). This specific knowledge is something that cannot be taught. It is the unique sum of all of your skillsets. Going out on your own forces you to gain damn near mastery-level skills in all areas from accounting, marketing, legal, finance, leadership, capitalization, team building, human nature, scaling and on and on. But again, I have to emphasize that when reading about these subjects, they only really stuck because I had a memory — an experience to tie it back to. That’s what made it all stick.
As Confucius wisely said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Doing begets understanding. Seeing (reading) is the optional step 1, and doing is mandatory.
Related: 7 Ways Entrepreneurship Helps You Be a Better . . . Anything
Word of warning: Be prepared
It’s going to hurt. A lot. But you will come out on top if you have a rational optimist mindset and constantly remind yourself of why you’re pushing yourself so hard when the weight of the world is bearing down on you. Everything you’ve been searching for, from confidence to self-esteem to discipline, will seemingly fall into place one by one.
You’re going to run into times where you want to quit. That will happen. You’ll have panic attacks. You’ll beat your head against the wall to try to find answers. You might even break some shit. But if you can make it … it is guaranteed to unlock the BEST you.
Related: The Power of Pain to Transform You Into Your Best Self