Webster’s defines courage as ‘mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship.” It implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. Courage can be developed. But it cannot be nurtured in an environment that eliminates all risks, all difficulty, all dangers.
It takes considerable courage to work in an environment in which one is compensated according to one’s performance. Most affluent people have courage. What evidence supports this statement? Most affluent people in America are either business owners or employees who are paid on an incentive basis. (..whether their parents were wealthy or not, most of the affluent in America acquired their wealth on their own. They had the courage to undertake entrepreneurial and other business opportunities that were associated with considerable risk.) The Millionaire Next Door
Now before you ask about this statement and wealth and the title of the book, anyone who has read The Millionaire Next Door know it’s not really about millionaires. It’s about ‘relative wealth’. Most Americans are distracted into believing they have wealth because of the outward appearances of their competitive consumption due to their need to keep up with the Jones’ versus the actual consumption behaviors and habits of those who are truly ‘wealthy’ – net worth eight to ten times their annual income. This means someone who earns $75,000 and has a net worth of $750,000 is wealthier than the person who has an income of $750,000 and a net worth of $400,000. The former lives within his means, saves, is not a victim of competitive consumption; the latter has the income but is mortgaged up to the hilt having competitively consumed to maintain a lifestyle that has left him or her in massive debt and in fear of the future. I highly recommend reading this book since we always discuss keeping your overhead very low. This will explain just how critical it is both professionally and personally.
On a side note, I’m also reading the book because it delineates the impact of EOC – economic outpatient care – how parents cripple their children by providing them everything economically believing they are doing them good but they are in effect weakening them and their ability to be self-sufficient and proud of their self-sufficiency.
What happens when ‘weakened children’ become adults? They typically lack initiative. More often than not, they are economic underachievers but have a high propensity to spend. That’s why they need the economic subsidies to maintain the standard of living they enjoyed in their parents’ home.”
It is a statistically proven relationship:
The more dollars adult children receive, the fewer dollars they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars accumulate more.
So, where am I going with all of this?
In today’s economic climate many graduates will turn to solo practice. We’ve discussed this on this blog countless times. Those who will make it work will understand this statement:
It is amazing what you can do when you have no alternative but to succeed
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s and one of the greatest entrepreneurs, welcomed cold-calling sales professionals. He would see all of them because he knew it is very hard to find people who have the courage to be evaluated strictly on their own performance. It was how he selected who would get his earliest franchises.
Going solo and succeeding is truly about making it on your own initiative. You ask any solo practitioner and he or she will own the struggles because this is their badge of honor. No one will tell you it was a piece of cake. They will share their war stories proudly, their dips and valleys, the almost misses, the costly mistakes and hard-earned lessons and how it strengthened them, moving them closer to independence. Many will also tell you they have much to learn but are extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished. And upon reflection they will confirm they are indeed entrepreneurs and could never imagine working for someone else ever again.