Below is an article I wrote in 2011 titled “Believing in Success is the Secret”. It originally appeared on rinf.com in their self-improvement section.
I’m reposting the article here both as a reminder to myself as I get close to announcing more details about FooPlugins.com, and also in the hope that my story will help others to achieve their business goals, especially those in the WordPress world.
What You Believe Will Happen is Usually What Happens
It took me years to understand that most of my failures were caused by one thing. Me.
Don’t get me wrong here, there were undoubtedly circumstances beyond my immediate control that affected my ability to succeed and attain my goals but you are more in control of guiding your paths than you realize.
It’s all in the mind. Or rather, the mindset.
I was raised in a blue collar working family. Life was good. As kids, we had what we needed. Clothes, toys, bicycles, and food on the table. We were taught verbally and by example that a strong work ethic and a hard day’s work equaled success and that doing this meant “The Company” would take care of you and your family.
I took this belief and attitude with me throughout high school and college and straight onto the factory floor. I became a dedicated worker and within a few years I was leading my department. I felt I had “arrived” and that I could finally settle into life and fall in line with the rest of America.
Eat, work, sleep, putter around the house on the weekend, and a two week vacation in July every year. This was my mindset and the limit of my goals. I’m not saying that this is a wrong way to live, it just wasn’t enough for me. I needed more but didn’t know how to achieve it.
My First Business
Even though I was making a comfortable wage and living a comfortable existence, there was a fire starting to burn inside me. I needed an outlet for my creative side and after working a few years in the factory, I slowly started to realize that I didn’t want to spend another 30 years in that same building. I needed more.
Because my background was in Art, and because I enjoyed it, I started selling hand-drawn portraits to my co-workers of their loved ones. After I sold the first few I remember thinking “this is going to be big” and that I was going to be able to retire early. That dream quickly came to an end when I realized I had exhausted my customer base (the 50 or so people I worked with).
Back to the Grind and Forced Out
I settled back into my belief that I was never going to succeed on my own. That old mindset. I had tried and failed, and that was it. Two ten minute breaks and one twenty minute lunch for the rest of my working life were all I had to look forward to.
Then September 11th, 2001 arrived. In the months afterword, the layoffs started. Most of the company’s projects at the time were governments contracts and because budgets were getting smaller so was our work load. I was terrified that my safe little world would soon come to an end. At the same time though, I was secretly hoping that I would be one of the first to lose their job.
The Choice That Changed My Life
I did lose my job…and it was one of the pivotal moments in life that forced me to decide what path I would take, and what mindset I would choose to adopt. Was I going to continue to let other people and circumstances control my choices? Or was I going to face my fears of the unknown with only persistence and the belief that there was something more in store for me?
I chose the latter. I gave my landlord notice that I would be leaving the state, as well as my family (who thought I was making a very bad choice) and loaded up my car with whatever would fit after leaving enough space for my trusting and loyal Chocolate Lab. We hit the open road to parts unknown. I had no real plan to speak of, and that was not like me at all.
I was taking a risk into the unknown for the first time in my life. I believed that I would succeed. I visualized myself as the owner a successful business and one in which I was truly happy. I let go of all my preconceived notions of what I “should” be doing or how life was “supposed” to be lived.
And then it happened. Little by little, inch by inch, by one positive belief to the next. True business success and happiness started to come to me. Or rather, I started to attract it by visualizing and believing it to be true.
I had changed my mindset and by doing so, I had changed my path and my future.
You can do exactly the same for yourself and your business…if that’s what you truly want to happen.