Ask Yourself: Who’s Driving the Car?

Ask Yourself: Who’s Driving the Car?

“You are living your life and walking your path.  My image or anyone else’s of you, past or present, is not relevant to your path.  You are the one in control of your life, and you can’t allow perceptions and experiences of the past to control your destiny.  If you are constantly looking backwards, you cannot possibly focus on the health and wealth of your now, or the road ahead.

On your road of life, you can be driving the finest, shiniest automobile, with the best engine, and the latest technology, and all the bells and whistles.  But at the end of the day, the crucial question you must ask yourself is, Who’s driving the car?

Great insight from a great man:  my Dad.  I wanted to share this with my fellow small business owners, because I feel this is a very profound question that we often do not ask ourselves.  As we busy ourselves with the tireless pursuit of what I like to call the 3 R’s (Revenue, Rapport, and Relevance) – it is easy to get sidetracked and bogged down by past experiences, perceptions, and failures.

I remember reading an article by Jim Kukral entitled, “13 Reasons You’re Not as Successful as You Should Be”.  Besides enjoying the succinct, honest approach and advice of the article, I was also struck by something unexpected:  10 of the 13 reasons on the list were emotionally or psychologically driven.  Not external forces holding us back, but classic manifestations of handing over the car keys to someone or something else.   Fear.  Negativity.  Limitation.  The list goes on with things that we’ve unknowingly given power and authority to.

Small business owners, I say it’s time to get back into the driver’s seat, and here’s how I propose we get started:

  1. Live Your Now. The decisions you make every day contribute to or detract from your success story.  Glean all the positives you can from your past experiences, and release the rest.
  2. Believe. In yourself, in your vision, in your ability.  Aim high.  You will never outgrow the image you have of yourself.
  3. Steer Your Own Course. Do not compare yourself to others.  Everyone’s path is different, so claim YOUR success, not THEIR success.
  4. Keep Going. There’s an old saying, “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up”.  Enough said.

It’s not easy, but I figured we have to start somewhere, and we can do it together.  On our road to entrepreneurship it’s almost a given that the road will be bumpy from time to time.  But as challenges present themselves, before we start blaming the tires and the engine and whatever else, it’s best to stop and ask ourselves that all-important question:  Who’s driving the car?

Thanks, Dad.

Originally Published March 28, 2014

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