My biggest regret when I was younger was not taking that leap of faith. Recently, I was inspired by one of my workshop attendees during one of my workshop sessions. He just turned 18 and he told me that he wishes to start an online business, and how can he start.
When he asked me that question, my mind went “wow”.
During my younger days, I was brought up by the typical tiger parents and to put my effort into my studies. Even during my college days when I was 18, I just wanted to have fun, and with the new freedom that I got at that age I would be attending parties, hanging out late, and not having any thoughts of running my own business. So when I was approached by this 18 year old college student with the determination of making it on his own, I felt that I regretted some of the decisions during my younger days and wish I could have this mentality at such a young age.
Whether if you are from high school, college, uni, or even in the working class, there is this one Chinese proverb that stuck to me over the years – “The Best Time To Plant A Tree Is 20 Years Ago, The Second Best Time Is Now”
It’s A Long Road Ahead
These days, it’s easy to find for materials on social media and news sites that will give you a motivation boost and to give you an idea of starting your own business and living your life.
You see things on the headlines such as “Young entrepreneur makes his first million dollars in a year”, but you rarely see the process of it. At times you won’t have a clue on what that person has gone through to reach this point, the sacrifices that they have to make and the efforts taken to do so.
Going back to the Chinese proverb mentioned earlier, when you start planting your tree, it will have a huge impact of what happens in the coming 5, 10 or even 20 years. This may sound a little philosophical but it is true. People tend to look at successes of others, wanting them, but at the end they come up with excuses that pushes their motivation away and for some that would be the end of the road for their dreams.
Start small, work with what you have.
Similar to planting a tree, your soil and fertilizer will be your foundation. A tree will take years to grow, and sometimes you will encounter issues that will stunt the growth of your tree but with that, you earn experience and knowledge on how to manage and grow your next tree better.
In this day and age, it is even easier to search for solutions and to question professionals on how to work things out. It will be a long journey ahead so start planting your seeds early, put in the effort and care and you will see it grow over the years.
Stop Saying “I Should Have”
“I should have done this, I should have done that”.
How many times have you heard people saying these lines?
Stop regretting over past mistakes or missed opportunities as that will not help you in any way. Everyone needs to start somewhere. As humans, we have limited time in this world. Instead of living in the past, I want you guys to think about the present.
If we are being mindful about the things we do, it will have a significant impact on our lives in the coming years. This is why I put a strong emphasis on the Chinese proverb stated above that was first recorded probably hundreds of years ago, but it remains so relevant till this day.
Some of us struggle with anxiety due to the super fast paced lifestyle that the digital life is demanding from you. We forget how to be grateful and tend to be discouraged when seeing other successful stories online. We often see this happening and how people are sometimes desperate to show success, but forget or do not clearly understand the journey taken by these entrepreneurs to reach the point where they are currently at.
Clear your mind, be mindful that everything you do now will have an impact on your health, finance, and everything surrounding you. It’s up to you whether you choose to do it or not.
Leave The Past Behind
I have had regrets myself, I regret not being able to come up with the ideas to start early, I regret not taking that leap of faith when I had the chance, but what I regret most was having these thoughts in my head.
So remember the quote, “The Best Time To Plant A Tree Is 20 Years Ago, The Second Best Time Is Now”.
Start somewhere, whether if it’s small. Everything needs time to grow and if you do it the right way, that’s when you are able to see a progress and it will be worth it. If you wish to share your story or any questions regarding this article, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Check out our other article on how to start your online business without having to leave your job.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.