The young business owner sighed in frustration and stood up from beside the bed where he had been kneeling.
Once again, he had desperately asked for guidance, and once again, nothing had come to him.
His father had founded the company in 1952, but had died in 1980, leaving him in charge of the frail business at the age of thirty.
His greatest wish was to carry on his father’s legacy, to act and make decisions as his father would have. But he felt inadequate to the task. More than anything, he felt alone.
Years had passed, and with every critical decision, he hit his knees and sought direction. And with every decision, he was left to make the decision on his own.
That night, his father came to him in a dream.
“Dad,” he chided, “where have you been all these years? I’ve been begging you for help. I’ve asked for guidance so many times. I’ve done my best to continue building your business. But never in all these years have you ever shown me the way.”
His father smiled. “Chris, we really don’t care about the business up here,” he said. “What we care about very much is who you become because of your business.”
That true story* powerfully and profoundly expresses the core reason why I’m so passionate about entrepreneurship.
You can’t unleash your greatness until you expose your fears and weaknesses. Your fears and weaknesses can’t be exposed until you get out of your comfort zone. And the best way to get out of your comfort zone is to become an entrepreneur.
Fear is the result of false beliefs. False beliefs limit your potential more than any other factor.
To break through your limitations, you must reprogram your false beliefs. But you can’t do anything about your false beliefs until you expose them, and you can’t expose them until you face your fears.
Struggling to find your purpose? Wondering what mission you were born for? Trying desperately to conquer limitations?
Start a business. It could be any business. A small, local service business. An online business. A photography or a catering or a marketing business.
At the risk of losing subscribers, after starting and operating several small businesses since the age of sixteen, my recommendation is to start a network marketing business.
The start-up costs are incredibly low. You have virtually no overhead. You have no payroll. You don’t need to worry about government regulation. No manufacturing, supply chains, or inventory (in most cases) to manage. Truly passive income can be developed — you don’t have to be a self-employed slave to your business, trading your time for money.
And here is the greatest benefit of all — network marketing businesses are virtually risk-free. Start any other business and you have no idea whether or not it will fail.
With a network marketing business, there are only two risks: 1) the risk of being ridiculed and 2) the risk of not doing the work. Show up and do the work and ignore the haters and you are virtually guaranteed to succeed. There is no other business model on the planet that offers this.
NOW, LISTEN VERY CAREFULLY TO WHAT I’M SAYING: This is not some lead-in to pitch you on a network marketing company (although I am a proud member of two).
What I’m saying is that I want you to become the best person you can possibly become. I’m saying I want to do everything in my power to help you discover your God-given purpose and to live it with courage and power.
I’m saying that, other than maintaining a marriage and raising a family, I don’t know of any more effective way for you to accomplish this than entrepreneurship. And for most people, I don’t know of a better entrepreneurial path than network marketing.
I don’t care what company you join or what product you pitch. What I care about is who you become in the process.
Every time you pick up that phone, and your knees are shaking and the butterflies in your stomach are churning and threatening to fly out your mouth, you are exposing your fears and weaknesses. By so doing, you are exposing false beliefs; fear is the result of false beliefs. And by exposing and dealing with your false beliefs, you are getting ever closer to discovering your greatness.
And think through this carefully: If your only risk is the risk of being ridiculed — and if that stops you from starting a business — are you ever going to do anything meaningful in your life? Is there anything worth doing, is there anything that will make a difference in this world that doesn’t come with that risk, that doesn’t require that fear to be conquered?
The world desperately needs your light, your love, and your leadership. But none of these can emerge until you conquer your fears and your weaknesses.
In the name of all things excellent and worthy of a child of God, I beg you to start a business. Because it’s not about the business — it’s about who you become.
*Story told by J. Christopher Lansing.
Stephen Palmer is a writer and entrepreneur devoted to helping people conquer limitations, maximize their potential, and achieve true freedom.
He is a co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, the founder of Life Manifestos, and the author of Uncommon Sense: A Common Citizen’s Guide to Rebuilding America.
He co-authored the New York Times bestseller, Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths that are Destroying Your Prosperity. He is also the co-author of The Conscious Creator: Six Laws for Manifesting Your Masterpiece Life.
Stephen and his wife are raising their four children in southern Utah.