My all time favorite quote was said by Steve Jobs back in 2005 during his Stanford speech:
“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
I recently had to make a tough career/personal decision, and this quote held true as it always does for me.
Simply said, if you’re not happy with your current life or professional situation, you need to change something. Change is usually not easy, but no one is going to do it for you. It’s a path you need to decide to walk.
Your life is yours. Your happiness is too. If you’re waking up feeling miserable too many days in a row, time for a change. I’m constantly assessing my current situation and state of happiness with what I’m doing and bring changes accordingly.
Everything, absolutely everything around you is within your grasp to either change or just eliminate from your life. We all have the power to change our reality.
I was very naive at negotiating when I first started Ideaware. Starting a new agency to compete with Silicon Valley counterparts was not an easy task, hell, it still isn’t.
Starting up in South America (Colombia), there was only one way to compete and step into the market: cheaper hourly rates. In other words: cost.
We tried – and succeeded sometimes – to deliver that ‘top agency’ quality at a fraction of the price. But this came at a cost, as great things take time to make. Time I wasn’t charging for – or undercharging for.
This took a toll on both revenue and in the end quality, as having enough cash is vital to having the necessary resources to deliver the work.
One day it all dawned on me after reading a blog post somewhere (would love to cite, but couldn’t find it): budgets buy time – quality should always be a given.
It rocked my (and Ideaware’s) world.
Budgets were suddenly time. I started talking time with my clients and team. Daily project management questions suddenly changed to: How much time do we have? Does the client have enough budget for that?
What happened next rocked my world (again): we started delivering the best quality work we’ve ever done and clients have never been happier working with us.
We no longer negotiate quality, but time. Time and quality equals results. Results are good for business.
Last September marked four years since I quit my ‘full-time’ job and started my current journey. Here’s the post on this blog from four years ago – So I quit my job, what’s next?
I remember the mixed feelings of uncertainty, doubt, hopefulness but above all that sense of satisfaction that I took a first step to follow my dreams. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, I even set a goal for myself when I was in University to not have a desk job by the time I was 30. I made it happen when I was 27.
Above all else, the last four years have been the best of my life: I found my soulmate, started my dream company with her full support, got married and I’m now a very proud father of my 1 year old son. I have no regrets and nothing but blessings that I’m thankful for.
In four years I’ve consulted for startups and fortune-500 companies, I started Ideaware from my living room and grown it into a 30+ person agency, I’ve invested in startups, I’ve created products and above all I’ve learnt from countless mistakes and failures along the way.
I’m very thankful for everyone I’ve met along the way so far, I learn so much from everyone in my life. Currently working in my next 4-year plan, but that’s another post.
Have you quit your job to start a company? Taken any life-changing decisions in the past four years? I’d love to hear your story.
Here’s a favorite quote of mine from motivational speaker Jim Rohn:
You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend Most Time With
As simple and straight forward as the quote may sound, there’s actually quite a bit of depth to it. Who you are at any point in your life is strongly defined by those 5 people that are closest to you.
In my experience there are three types of influence people have on you – positive, negative and zero.
Positive and negative influencers are easy to figure out – and I strongly recommend cutting out those who are the negatives, but I’ll write about that some other time.
It’s those people who fit into the zero category that you should be weary about – those who bring in nothing to your personal or professional relationship.
It’s the kind of people who are there, barely noticeable just leeching off of you, they do nothing but wear you down.
This is why this quote really struck me – one day I realized I was surrounded by people who wanted something from me, but gave nothing back.
We’ve got two surround ourselves by a supporting spouse, good friends and business partners that will help and push you to your goals.
It’s the kind of people you both teach and learn from, you help and get help from – a symbiotic personal or business relationship.
Those are the kind of people we all need in our lives.
Just today I read a blog post from my friend Dan Martell called “No Excuses“, he says:
I believe that I own 100% of my outcomes. I either win or I lose because of my actions. Some might blame circumstances but I don’t.
He’s right. I also believe we are in complete control of our reality. Whatever situation you are in, either work or life, you can change it. It’s that simple.
Some things never come easy others are hard to change but they are all within you’re grasp.
Unhappy about your job? Change it.
Living miserably with an unsupportive significant other? Talk, change.
Want to start a company? Do it, now.
Don’t be afraid of outcomes; failures will happen and we will all fail spectacularly at some point, it’s all part of learning.
It’s been a long time since I realized that no one is going to build my dream life or my dream company. It’s all up to me, and I build it, day by day, small or huge decision at a time.
Go ahead, stop complaining and start doing. Go to bed at night thinking about your dreams, you will have a plan by the time you wake up.
… ad agencies are used to create “ideas that tell” stories on behalf of their clients. Meanwhile, UX-centric start-ups or digital foundries create “ideas that do”, or more precisely, “ideas that enable people do things”