By Matt Wilson
June 18, 2009
What does living the dream mean to you? Are you using your imagination to figure out exactly what it is that you want and applying yourself directly to obtain it?
So many young people are forced into what I call “societal normalization” or in layman’s terms “the rat race.” It’s like that famous scene out of the movie Orange County where Jack Black asks his brother why the heck he is going to college. The brother exclaims “because that’s what you do after High School!” But life doesn’t have to be this way.
Avoid the rat race at all costs. Those who do often become the most remarkable entrepreneurs. Remember Apple Inc.’s motto? “Think Different.”
Warren Buffet’s best advice: “We attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.” This is another picture perfect example of someone observing what the masses do and then doing the opposite.
Think of where you are today and how you got there. Did it happen by chance? Did you fall into it? Or did you put yourself in a position where good things would start to happen to you?
There is absolutely no reason that just because you were an accounting major you have to be an accountant for the rest of your life. Just because your father was a lawyer and it was an easy path for you to follow, doesn’t mean it will make you happy.
Most people simply never take the time to observe their life and make a plan for it; and of the small percentage who do, few of those people are creative. Look around at your friends and inquire about their plan. Think their plans suck? Make new friends. You have to put yourself in the position to succeed, no matter what part of your life you want to change. Want to be fabulously wealthy? Surround yourself with those who’ve done it, or aspire to. Want to marry a fitness model? Find part time work at a gym.
Today, it’s possible to meet anyone and penetrate any niche, but it starts first with surrounding yourself with that industry. Luckily for us, the Internet puts any industry at our fingertips. Get on the blogs, the forums, the niche social networks, read everything you can, and meet everyone out there. Connect with the leaders of your niche on Twitter, follow them, listen closely and then establish your own unique voice.
Building your personal brand around what you love has never been easier, but it takes imagination, time and commitment to your own success. Think big and don’t look back.
Matthew J. Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO.com. Under30CEO’s newsletter http://HelpAnEntrepreneur.com allows anyone to ask a business question and get answers from real people in their inbox or Twitter feed. Wilson graduated from Bryant University with a clear goal of starting his own business and while there, he led Bryant University to becoming the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization of the year and became National Student Leader of the Year. Wilson will be a regular contributor to our Gen Y Advice section.