It sounds nice. Really, it does. Eating Pop Tarts in your “Finding Nemo” slippers and suddenly getting a call from Jacqueline Badger Mars saying she wants to invest in the chocolate treats you sell every so often at your church’s bake sale. And this is the moment you have been waiting for – this is exactly why you never wasted time hustling for nickels and pennies at your local farmer’s market because you just knew sooner or later someone who gets it (with money) would come along and see the value in your brand.
And …………… end scene. It would be an Academy Award winning movie, for sure. Except, those true tales usually look something like this: staying up into the wee hours of the morning trying recipes (failing at most, winning at a few), giving some away to anyone you can force-feed, selling to your friends, family – anyone with a wallet and a mouth to chew, having doors slammed in your face, shedding tears, almost giving up and then slowly, somehow finding a way.
Those “I was walking down the street looking like shit and a modeling agent spotted me in the crowd” stories are far and few between. We need to stop waiting for that illusive one and recognize that most often WE are the ONE we are seeking. Stop waiting for the right customer, designer, season or man to come along before your dreams or happiness can be attained.
One of the things I learned in 2009 when I began to reflect on what I really wanted out of life was that if I wanted change, I had to create it. Otherwise, I was putting my fate into the hands of strangers who may never deem me worthy of achieving it. And why should anyone else be responsible for my future in the first place?
Is there something you are waiting for in business or life that seems elusive? Evaluate your strategy and be honest about what it takes and what you need to get there. Don’t believe a word about overnight success. Think about this: Halle Berry was the first woman of African-American descent to win the Best Actress Academy Award in 2002. However, Halle acted in more than 26 roles prior to her winning turn in “Monster’s Ball.” What if she sat back waiting for her breakout movie and in the meantime swatted away starring in films such as “The Flintstones” and early roles on TV shows like “A Different World?” Would she have even been offered Monster’s Ball? All of those roles created a body of work, kept her on the screen, building a fan-base and on the radar of casting directors and film producers.
Clive Davis spotted vocally gifted Whitney Houston as a teen singing backup for her mother’s cabaret act. She was not belting out her guts on a soundtrack or stunning millions by singing “The Star Spangled Banner” on national TV (though she would do both eventually). She was putting in work and getting experience singing behind her mother in a club in New York.
Entrepreneur Lisa Price is no different. Before investors like Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z backed her popular hair care product Carol’s Daughters, she was whipping up ingredients in her kitchen when she wasn’t working at her day job in production on “The Cosby Show.”
You have to start somewhere or risk going nowhere. Stop making excuses. Stop looking for a savior. Stop waiting for the right time. Stop waiting for things to be perfect. Stop paying attention to what is going right for everyone else and what is going oh so wrong for you. Stop putting things off until tomorrow.
Start taking action. Start trying. Start executing. Start moving on. Just DO IT. Be present. Live what you have been dying to be, because time is going to pass with or without you. If you’re waiting on the right circumstances to come along to catapult you to success then you don’t have aspirations, you have delusions.