by Ramone Smith
This is the legacy I will leave for myself, my family and my community.
Don’t dismiss the idea that perhaps the universe has been trying to tell you that you need to go into business for yourself. I say this with some trepidation, but it very well could be true. I am being as courageous and as self-objective as I possibly can be as I look back at my work history. In every job, there has been some issue, big or small, regarding my performance. I periodically reached the level of maximum recognition from my bosses. There was always something I had to improve. Now, I firmly believe in job performance improvement, and I recognize that in life there will be work issues to address from time to time. Nothing wrong with that because it helps me grow as a person and an employee. Nonetheless, I feel I am busting my ass and getting the desired results only half of the time. I will take the responsibility to learn more on my job and look to improve. However, these are attributes I can apply to my own business or service. I promise myself to think long and hard about this and possibly make some life altering/improving changes.
This is the unabashed, unedited and totally honest, personal journal entry I submitted to myself back on June 16, 2011. At that time, I was frustrated with my job as an account manager. It appeared that no matter how hard I worked to meet office targets, I was coming up short more times than actually meeting them to the satisfaction of my supervisors.
I started to reflect on my past work history and looked for a common narrative. There was no major surprise when I found I performed well at jobs that I liked and allowed me to display my natural abilities. I usually failed at jobs that required a longer than allowed learning curve and focused on things I did not do well.
Perhaps the most telling component of any of my old jobs was how I did not enjoy supervisors arbitrarily evaluating my performances. I never got used to the obligatory encounter in which I was sitting in a supervisor’s office being told how well or how poorly I was doing based on numbers. That’s when I made the decision that I did not want another job performance evaluation again.
I did some research, contacted the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, and scheduled an appointment to have aptitude testing done. I wanted to see what my natural intellectual, mental and emotional strengths are and base my future entrepreneurial endeavors on what I did well with minimal effort. I underwent a battery of test that confirmed what I had intuitively known but at times worked against. One of my strongest intellectual aptitudes is in “Deductive Reasoning” and I use a great deal of this as an educator and Life Coach.
Also, I learned from reading T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, that your chances of success increase when you are passionate about what you are doing to the point where you would do it for free.
From then on, I knew what I wanted to do and did not look back. I was able to define myself as a passionate writer, knowledgeable adjunct professor and a very skilled life coach. This is the legacy I will leave for myself, my family and my community.
My suggestion for all the budding entrepreneurs out there is to ask yourself the same questions I asked myself;
- Are you tired of job performance evaluations?
- Are you working really hard and only getting a modicum in return for the effort?
- Do you really believe you would be better off if you were your own boss?
If you can definitively answer those questions then my advice is as follows:
- Find out what your passion is and follow it. Remember it must be a natural expertise that you enjoy so much that you would do it for free.
- If you can afford it have an aptitude test performed. It is worth the financial investment to see what you naturally do well and let that steer your product development or service.
- Adopt what I call the ‘Super Hero Mantra’ which is to never give up. As a superhero cartoon and comic book enthusiast, the heroes in question usually face insurmountable odds but always find a way to defeat a superior enemy or save the world.
Finally perhaps you cannot quit your present job right now and that is ok. Try doing your business part-time or as a paid hobby and be patient with the development. Rome was not built in a day and the lessons you learn along the way will be invaluable contributions to your impending success.
Ramone Smith is an Adjunct College Professor at Boricua College, a Self-Improvement author and IPEC trained Life Coach. He has more than ten years of experience teaching on the college and GED/Adult Basic Educational level.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.