Being an entrepreneur is not an easy journey. Many people have great ideas in mind that they would love to develop, but very often these ideas remain just ideas in their heads that don’t get off the ground. Very often, it is because they lack the skills, or they are scared to take the risk.
Even I was not ready to start my company when I did, and right now I still feel that I lack the skills and knowledge to become a successful entrepreneur. But, the past 4 years I have learned that I thrive when I take risks. I can tell you that this is not easy, but the most important thing is to take this first step and then just see what happens.
My first step was when I joined AIESEC, a Global Youth Organization, which has a mission to develop leadership in every young person in the world. AIESEC during the past 4 years changed me to become a person who is more confident, who knows exactly what to do in the future and how to influence other people. AIESEC also developed leadership skills in me, and gave me the confidence to take a risk and become an entrepreneur.
What I have learned during this experience are the most valuable life lessons I could ever have before I turned 26. And I would love to share these lessons with you and so that you may also take risks and follow what you are really passionate about!
Go outside of your comfort zone
Do you want to see magic happening in your life? Of course, everyone would love to. But, this magic that I speak of will not come to you if you will not go outside of your comfort zone! You have to take actions and start learning, practicing and doing what you really love! For example if you want to become a better public speaker, but you are afraid of speaking to the crowd, you will never become one if do not try! This was my dream, when I joined AIESEC – to become more confident, confident enough to stand on the stage and speak to people. By taking small steps I finally made it and right now I feel comfortable to deliver a speech in front of others. I am still not perfect, but I strongly believe that I will continue to improve. I wish that you also take a jump outside of your comfort zone and start doing things that you are the most afraid off. After some time you will realize that this fear just disappear and you are totally a different person and what’s more, magic will start happening around you.
Capitalize on your strengths
All of us have some strengths. One can be a perfect musician, another amazing football player and other have great math and programming abilities. The most important thing is to figure out your strengths and what you are good at. It will definitely not take you one day or even a week. This is a long process and some people are trying to figure out their strengths and passions throughout their entire life. The sooner you understand your strengths, the sooner you will be able to capitalize on them and do amazing things! Just look at famous musicians and athletes. They are good in one particular thing and become professionals in their fields. You need to also find your one skill and be the best at it, by practicing and doing it over and over! Believe me or not, when you will figure out this you will give your passion and your love to it.
Figure out your weaknesses and work on them
What about weaknesses? Some weaknesses can stop you from achieving your dreams. Have you ever thought “I wish to be better in this field, but I’ll never be good at it”. Even, I have thought like this and still sometimes catch myself doing it! The most important lesson I got in AIESEC was to change my way of thinking. The moment when I heard about the fixed and growth mindset theory changed the way I approached my life. When you are thinking in a fixed mindset you will always perceive everything to not be achievable, even to change your weaknesses to your inner strengths. When you change your way of thinking to the growth mindset you will feel that only the sky is the limit, and you can achieve everything you are dreaming off. So, first of all figure out your weaknesses and things which are stopping you from being happy. Then, just by changing your way of thinking to growth mindset start working on them doing small steps and believe me, finally your weakness can become your real inner strength!
Accept who you are
Some time ago I have heard that you cannot be a good leader, when you are not a true leader for yourself. Everything begins with accepting who you really are and from where you come from. Try to imagine, how you can have good relations with other people, when you are not in a good relation with yourself. I was like that before I joined AIESEC. I was not able to accept the introverted side of myself and I was always looking on the negative side of myself and could only see things that I was not good at. I was even comparing myself to others and trying to be like them, and through which forgetting who I truly was. Later on, I figured out that each one of us is totally unique, beautiful and simply amazing, because of where we are coming from and how we develop through our childhood. There is nothing wrong with being different, or to do not have skills that others have. Be yourself and accept who you really are and if you want to change just work on your strengths and weaknesses to be the best version of you for you.
Believe in yourself
Once you have already started accepting who you really are, the next step is to start believing in yourself. Easy to say, right! But let’s look at this differently. Try to imagine, what if there is just you and there is no one and nothing else, which can stop you. There are also people who are eager enough to support you in what you are doing. Where would you be and what would you do? Would you travel the world and meet different people and experience new cultures along the way, while working virtually, if that was your dream? That was my dream! Firstly, I wanted to move from my country and work abroad and I made it by working with AIESEC International, the headquarters of AIESEC, based in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. To be honest with you, I could not believe that I was able to achieve it! Finally, thanks to huge support from my teammates, who were believing in me, when I was not, this experience of mine was the one where I developed more and was inspired more than I have ever been in my life. This, took me to the place where I am right now! I am traveling around Southeast Asia and working virtually for my company. Sometimes is really hard to believe in ourselves, but remember that there are always people who believe in you and that are more than eager to help you when you are doubting yourself. Never forget about that and surround yourself with the people who are not stopping you, but pushing you to achieve your dreams! Later on, you will believe in yourself and nothing will stop you!
I was really lucky that I found AIESEC on my life path. This beautiful organisation changed my life in many ways and still inspires me as an AIESEC Alumnus to become the best version of myself and to strive to change the world. If you felt inspired by this article please share it with others and let them know about AIESEC and give them a chance to change their lives.
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