An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 17) – How To Live Before You Die

An Entrepreneur’s Journal (Day 17)

How To Live Before You Die

By Clay Clark – U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Dallas Business Coach & Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group


The video above features a man who lives his life everyday as though it were his last (the founder of Apple Steve Jobs giving the 2005 Commencement Address at Stanford University).

This past week I was given the opportunity to speak to a large group of business people in the Norwich New York area. Before the event started I spent my time going from table to table attempting to meet as many people as possible so that I could get a feel for the audience, their needs and their overall attitude. As I greeted people I made sure to ask them questions about their future goals and their current jobs. It was during this time that I quickly noticed something profoundly simple. It was obvious who liked what they did and who did not. It was very apparent who wanted to be there and who did not. It was blatant which people felt as though they were en route to achieving their goals and those who felt they were just “putting in time.” How awful would that be, to know that you were just putting in time. Time is our most important assett. In fact time is really all we have. We only live once. We don’t get another crack at this game of life. We don’t get to simply hit the reset button as we get near the end of the game.

After I was introduced, I began my talk. As I spoke, I tried to make eye contact with as many people as possible. From what I could tell, their seemed to be about 70% of the crowd that “wanted to be there.” However, their also seemed to be about 30% of the crowd that did not want to be there. Personally, I could not imagine going to an event that I did not want to be at. I could not imagine spending my time (my most important assett) attending something that I did not want to be at? So why is it that many people are willing to spend nearly 60% of their waking hours working at a job that they cannot stand? What would make a man or woman work at a job that they do not like? It’s the comfortable cages my friend. It’s those comfortable cages.

Many people spend their lives trapped in comfortable cages. The cages are small, they are cramped, however when you live in the cage you do get food, water, benefits and the occasional “outing” (vacation). After you return from your “outing,” your employer escorts you back into your cage where you stay until the next approved “outing” (vacation time use). Once people get inside of their cages, they are then put to work. Do this, do that. When you are done with this, you also need to do that. This is how some people live. Doing this and doing that in a comfortable cage. Because they are so busy doing this and that they never have time to stop and ponder, “I wonder what it would be like to live outside of this cage?” However, living outside of the cage is what life is all about.

In our great country, we reap the benefits of the freedom our country’s founders fought for. In the United States you can do whatever you want to do. If you want to pick up trash or work as a waitress you can do it. If you are passionate about pouring concrete you can do that too. The great thing about America is that you can do what you want to do. However, with this freedom comes great responsibility. People actually have to put in the work to turn their passions into profits. If you are an artist and you want to make art for a living you are going to have to hustle. You are going to have to get out there work with the speed and tenacity needed to get things done. You can’t just intend to get out there and sell. You have to sell or you simply cannot afford to pursue your passions. I believe that most people want to pursue their passions, they are just afraid to. However, if how differently would you choose to live if you knew that tommorrow is not guaranteed? How differently would you live if you knew that this was your one shot and your one opportunity to live this life? If you knew that you only had one year to live how much more would you value each day? Well here is the scoop my friends. You only do live once. Life is not a dress rehearsal. As the famed author Napoleon Hill wrote many years ago, “The time will never be just right, you must act now.”

My friend you must act now. Stop putting off living to hold down a job that you do not like. If you are not passionate about what you do, either find a way to get passionate about it or find another job. We are in a recession and companies can no longer afford to employ the bottom feeders. Companies can no longer afford to employ the people who are the least passionate. Trust me on this. If you are not passionate about your job, your employer knows. You show it in your face. You show it in your body language. You show it in your work. If you are passionate about your work your employer knows it as well. You walk with a sense of purpose. You bring up new ideas in meetings. You are “fired up!” You look for ways to improve. My friend trust me on this. We are all going to die soon, much sooner than we would like. You and I do not have enough time on this planet to waste precious portions of it attending events that don’t like while working at companies that we are not passionate about. Pursue your passions and find a way to turn them into profits. You can do it.

By Clay Clark – U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Dallas Business Coach & Marketing Director of Fears & Clark Tulsa Commercial Real Estate Group 

To purchase a copy of Clay’s autobiography / self-help book, “Make Your Life Epic: From the Dorm Room to the Board Room” click here.

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