Opinions expressed by Minority Mindset contributors are their own.
Would you rather go to jail for 4 years for something you didn’t do or get away with something horrible you did but always live in fear of being caught?
This was an icebreaker question in a recent team meeting. Fun, right? Take a moment and think of your answer. Let’s see if we think along the same lines.
My team was nearly unanimous in saying that they’d rather get away with a heinous crime. I was a little different so I hope you are too.
“I’d rather go to jail for 4 years,” I said.
A room full of puzzled faces stared back at me. “Why?” someone asked.
“Simple. In those 4 years, I’ll have a lot of free time. I’ll get into really good shape, read lots of books, teach, learn, and be productive.”
I saw some smiles. “What about getting a job after you get out? The crime will be on your record!”
I wanted to laugh so badly at the hideous three letter word. “I’d just start on my own business. I wouldn’t need a job. People would look at me as the guy who turned his life around and they’d want me to speak at their events!”
They laughed. I could tell it was at me. I’m well acquainted with the feeling.
This was a reminder that I think differently.
Here’s your reminder that you’re going to experience the same thing. Many people will look at a situation and call it a problem. You won’t be like that because entrepreneurs only see puzzles. That’s the difference.
If you’re already on your entrepreneurship journey, or just starting now, I want you to know that you’re going to be different. You’ll be laughed at, ridiculed, and maybe even bullied. People will snub you for simply doing something outside the norm.
When you finally begin to work on your dreams you’ll start making crazy trade-offs; no more Friday Happy Hours, no more sleeping in, and no more blaming others. You might even become boring because you’re going to continuously research the same topics, talk about the same stuff, and hack away at your goal. Your life will have a single point of focus.
Tell your buddies that you moved your TV into your storage, that you wake up at 4 AM (yes, even on the weekends), that you’ve given up parties and then look at their reactions. Get used to the wide-eyed, mouth agape look.
It’s imperative that you embrace your difference. They hate public speaking but you love it? Awesome. Double down and get better than anyone else. You love researching while everyone thinks of it as slogging through the weeds? That’s your differentiating factor. Propel yourself forward by not seeking approval.
As humans, we seek to conform because in the old days it meant you wouldn’t survive. You’d be shunned, wouldn’t get any juicy meat, and then you’d die. Not exactly glorious. There was a definite advantage of fitting in.
It pays to be different. It pays to be the one that works longer, harder, and smarter. You’re rewarded for your innovative thinking, the coloring outside the lines, and the quirky approaches you have. The one who continues after an endless string of failures isn’t the one who collects a paycheck, that person is the one who signs it.
Remember being a business owner or entrepreneur means that you don’t fit into the box that people created for you. They’re going to be mad, sad, and confused. They won’t know why, but it’s because you’re going for it and they’ve become content with mediocrity.
Accept that you’re different and make it happen. Everyone has an opinion, few people have ones that matter.