Writer and speaker Tim Ferriss has loads of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. Here are a few of his top quotes for aspiring business owners.
1. “Alternating periods of activity and rest is necessary to survive, let alone thrive.”
When it comes down to it, success is really all about balance. We not only need to make time to put effort into advancing our careers and staying productive, but we also need to make time for relaxing. Making time for rest in your busy schedule is just important to your success as an entrepreneur as the time you spend working.
2. “To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”
Sometimes, especially as aspiring business owners, we take ourselves far too seriously. That, and we also often look at things in a much more serious light than they are worth. We also need to keep in mind that not everything we do has to be work related. Going back to the idea of balance, we need to learn how to work hard and make time for the things we enjoy doing.
3. “Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress—stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth.”
Eustress is everything that causes you stress with benefits. That means you should always look for people and activities that cause you the good kind of stress – the people and things that push you to try harder without pushing you too far. Look for the stressful situations that force you to think hard and act quickly. Find things that put a smile on your face, even the things that make your heart race.
4. “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
As an entrepreneur, you are often going to have to be the one to start the ‘tough’ conversations. That is what it means to be an effective leader. If you are not willing to engage in conversations that cause either or both parties discomfort, this whole owning a business thing might not be for you. You are going to have to be the one to say things no one else will say or stand up for things others do not want to publicly stand up for.
5. “The bottom line is that you only have the rights you fight for.”
You are not entitled to anything you do not earn. As an entrepreneur, the only ‘rights’ you have are the ones you actually work to earn. Always make an effort to fight for the things you want. That way, if anyone ever questions whether or not you deserve your success, others will be able to argue that you do indeed deserve it, because you put in the work necessary in order to earn it.
6. “It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time and energy-consuming.”
If someone ever tells you that your ambitions are not realistic, count that as a blessing. It’s those goals that on the surface seem impossible that are the right ones to work toward achieving. If you keep trying to set and reach goals that are easy or that everyone else is already trying to reach, it will be much harder for you to break through the noise and actually stand out. In order to stand out, you need to reach higher. That is where you will be able to find the success you are looking for.
7. “If you take a strong stance and have a clear opinion or statement on any subject online, you’re going to polarize people. And without that polarity, there’s no discussion.”
Sometimes, entrepreneurs have to stand up for things they believe in. That means they are going to have unpopular opinions. But starting discussions and spreading ideas, ideally, should be part of any entrepreneur’s professional mission.
8. “Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitate to get in the way if you’re moving.”
If you haven’t started something yet, don’t let anyone try to stop you from moving forward. Once you get going, and you’re on track to doing something great, people will be much less likely to step in front of you and tell you that you are doing something wrong.
9. “The opposite of love is indifference, and the opposite of happiness is boredom.”
The opposite of happiness isn’t sadness; it’s boredom. Think of how you felt the last time you were bored. You would probably give anything never to have to feel that way again. You don’t have to, as long as you find something that you truly care about that you can spend all your free time pursuing. Once you find that thing that gives you life and purpose, you will likely never feel bored ever again.
10. “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?”
Sometimes we focus so much on setting ambitions that we think other people will be impressed by and forget to set goals for yourselves that we are actually interested in achieving on our own. Learn how to set goals that you are passionate about and that will reignite your excitement each time you do something to work toward achieving them. Excitement makes success almost easier to reach.
Keep working hard. It may not seem like it will ever be worth it now, but as long as you never let yourself give up, you will find success.