Can you think of something in your life that at one point it was all that you could think about? Something that you wanted over anything else? You probably told yourself that you would finally be fulfilled and happy if you just got this one thing.
When I was 9 years old I really wanted Heelys, you know those bulky shoes that had wheels pop out on the bottom so that you could skate around?
At this time Christmas was right around the corner so I made it clear to my parents that this was the main gift I needed. I remember that Christmas morning going under the tree and grabbing the six or seven gifts that had my name and stacking them up in front of me.
In my family, we have a tradition of taking turns opening presents, one person at a time and this can take several hours. We have a large family with 7 people, and now we have 12 including spouses. We like to stretch out the Christmas morning experience, normally opening half of the gifts and then taking a break for breakfast before opening the remaining half.
Now that I’m older, I really enjoy this slow experience, but when I was a kid I just wanted to get at those presents!
So you get the point, I really just wanted to find out if I got the very present that I wanted, but I had to wait several hours. Finally, it was time to open my last present and I had yet to uncover the Heelys. I quickly ripped through the wrapping paper and boom… I had my hands on a swaggy pair of Heelys.
For months, all I wanted to do was ride around on my Heelys. I was on the search for any prime place to cruise around on my new wheels. Anytime my mom was going to Costco or the mall (optimal cruising spots) I was there with her. All of this excitement lasted for just a few months and then it just stopped.
Why was I temporarily so excited about something and then out of nowhere I was over it?
I think for a lot of us, there are things that we desire, but we tell ourselves that we need to have them in order to be satisfied. The desire for something more is good, but the misbelief that we need it is not. When I want something, then I’m motivated to work for it. When I think I need something, then I become consumed and at times desperate until I get that thing.
The reality is that most of the time when we finally get what we wanted, it’s not what we thought it was going to be.
For my whole life, I have always been told that I’m business minded and that one day I was going to own a business. People always told me this from a young and I didn’t really understand why. I heard it so often that early on I decided that I wanted to be a business owner. It was just ingrained in my mind that I was created to be in business.
This created a need in me.
I entered the workforce when I turned 16 and starting working during summer months. I graduated high school on a Friday and Monday jumped in working full time while going to school online. From the very beginning, I was discontent where I was in my career. I was constantly thinking about the next step and comparing myself to others around me. For a while, this motivated me to work hard, but after a few years of not being where I wanted I become extremely discontent.
I just wanted to own a business.
Now I’m 23 years old and I just used the majority of my life savings to buy a business. I finally got the very thing that I wanted. Now what?
This is different than the story with the Heelys, but similar in a few ways. It’s not like I got the thing I wanted and then after a few short months I’m over it, but it’s different than what I expected.
Don’t get me wrong, I really love it and I’m grateful for this opportunity, but it’s not easy by any means. I’m working more than I ever have in my life, but the cool thing is that it doesn’t feel that way. Most of my time is either spent working or thinking about the business, but that excites me. It’s what I’m passionate about and it’s life-giving.
Here is what I have learned so far with this experience:
- I’m glad that it took until I was 23 for this desire of mine to come to fruition. I’ve wanted it for a long time, but I wouldn’t have been ready if this happened when I was 18. Looking at it now, it’s easy to say that I wasn’t ready, but when I was 18 I thought I was.
- If I could do one thing differently I would go back and change my mindset and attitude when I was early on in my career. I needed more gratitude for the opportunities that were before me.
- It was good for me to do a job that I didn’t want to do for a while.
- Work ethic, self-discipline, and integrity are extremely important if you are going to own a business. This might seem obvious, but I’m finding this to be true more and more every day.
- I thought I was strong in organization, time management, and being productive. I’ve been humbled and I’m learning that I need a lot of improvement in these areas.
- I’ve had to remind myself to stay consistent and committed to the tasks at hand. It’s been tempting to think about other business ideas and I’ve actually already considered pursuing a few, but I’m forcing myself to focus on one thing at a time for this season.
- This has been fulfilling and exciting, but I’ve realized that it’s fleeting. When I let my sole focus be on the business and what it will create for me and my family then I’m quickly let down.
I’m grateful for this season of life and I’m learning more every day. I got the thing that I wanted and I’m deciding to stay with it and to not move on to other ideas too quickly.