I was reading an entrepreneur article earlier today, and I was excited to hear the author express some of the same frustrations I’ve had during my ongoing journey to entrepreneurship. She mentions how she struggles and fights and works to become successful on her own, and while she is doing that, she hears about the 20-somethings who have just become billionaires with some business or invention idea, with what seems like zero effort! I’ve thought about this before- I think to myself, ok, I know I’m smart, I know I can accomplish anything I want to, but why is it that these people can do exactly what I’m trying to do so {seemingly} easy?? Am I not as smart as I think I am? How can I not compete in that arena? I don’t understand.

Well, I’ve had an epiphany or two about this, which will lead to the point of this blog in a minute; I began to think about it this way- every person has been allocated x (I promise this isn’t about to turn into a calculus equation) amount of brain power. I’m thinking, it is very likely that these 20-something year old billionaires just used probably 80-85% of their allocated brain power to this success. That percentage isn’t exact, but you get the idea. Now, if I have the same x amount of brain power they do (isn’t that a flattering thought!), it doesn’t mean I have allocated it the same way. For me, I have done a lot of, what I think, are really challenging things. All of those things combined have taken up a lot of brain power , which we will call y. So now, I am only left with z brain power remaining to dedicate to my huge business dreams and pursuits. Because I used so much brain power for my other activities (y), I don’t have the same 80-85% available brain power as those billionaires had! No wonder I can’t be as successful as quickly! If I confused you, the summary equation is, total brain power (x) = previously allocated brain power (y) + business venture brain power (z), or  x = y + z.

Why the calculus equation, you ask? Because it illustrates my point about perspective. My first reaction to my yet-to-be entrepreneurial success is to assume that I’m not smart enough, or I’m not capable. That would be everyone’s first reaction, I’m sure. But there is another version of what’s going on. I am smart! Look at everything I’ve done up until now. Most people who are exceptionally good at one particular thing, well, that is usually the main and/or only thing they are good at.  I’ve never been exceptionally good any one thing, but I’m usually just above average in a lot of things. So, isn’t that as good as being exceptional at one thing?  I think so! And I might even prefer it that way- be just above average in a lot of stuff versus exceptional in one thing.

It’s all about perspective. If you dig around a little, you may just find a different perspective from the one you currently have, and who knows, it may make things OK! Take anything you are frustrated about, or something you dislike, and see if you can’t come up with a different perspective. I guarantee there is one out there!

Ohhh, come on…


  • lisa

    Well, you assume that its seemingly without effort, and I think that is a false premise. When you read behind the stories, you find that they did spend a lot of effort and hard work getting these blogs, programs, start ups going. They invested their time and mental energy, and none of it was overnight. What they do have is the luxury of TIME. In highschool or college, you have the TIME to spend hours researching a subject to put on a blog, or to learn a computer program because its what you friends are doing. The last time I had hours do dedicate to something is my real estate, and although not worth a billion dollars, I am building some THING. So, they do work to get where they are, none are lottery winners

  • John K Conway

    Do not underestimate the role of luck in a successful business. But also remember, the harder you work the luckier you get.

    Best of luck to you Ali.

    • Ali

      Thanks! And I agree… the harder you work, the “luckier” you get. One of those- you do you best, the universe will do the rest.

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