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Several years ago I built a WordPress website for Josh. He was kinda quiet, but well-spoken. Very unassuming. Had a ponytail, liked the outdoors and was an avid skier. He had an interesting business. His consulting firm worked with companies, cities, and governments that owned or regulated water resources. This could be lakes, rivers, dams, reservoirs, etc. It turns out that if land touches water, there is a significant amount of regulations that govern that. Especially if it is near or around people. I was fascinated. What motivates someone to be in the water regulations business? My initial encounter with Josh was by chance on the West Coast, but Josh lived on the East Coast, so I never got to know him that well. It wasn’t until years later, through a mutual friend, that I found out that Josh’s main passion was kayaking. It was through his love of kayaking and access to waterways that he sort of fell into the business. What I admire most about Josh is that he was able to turn his strong beliefs into a business. He believed in something so fervently that he had to make it something he did every day. That’s incredible.
When you believe in something, it’s what drives you to get up in the morning. It gives you that extra push to see it through, even when you don’t feel like it. Belief is not just a powerful motivator, it gives you purpose. It’s tactile and measurable. You can see it and feel it in action. When what you believe in starts to connect with people, it’s exhilarating.
Figuring out what you believe in
Not all beliefs are popular, but don’t let that dissuade you. You probably have something so strong that you believe in, that it’s right in front of your face and you don’t even see it. Maybe it’s hard to figure out what you believe in, because you believe in a lot of things. You don’t have to pick one. Be all of them. Usually, at its core, there is something. Possibly even describing it with one word, “Freedom,” “Spirituality,” “Connection,” “Family,” or even “Emotion.”
Believing in something doesn’t have to be a passion or hobby. You could believe in kindness, smiling or daily gratitude. I often tell people when they are trying to figure something out, to start backwards. So when you are trying to figure out what you do believe in, ask yourself what you don’t believe in. That might make the process a little clearer.
I like to think of beliefs as a guide. A sort of North Star. Like guard rails down a road or painted lanes on a highway. It’s a place of center. When you think of it that way, it makes it much easier to know when you have strayed away from the path. When you know what you believe in, you can call yourself out constantly. It helps you understand yourself just a little bit more. What you believe in is who you are, how you act, how you talk and what you say. You’ve been someone who believes in something this whole time. See it now?
What I believe in
I believe in friendship, forgiveness, love, commitment, family, loyalty, to not take things personally, integrity, responsibility, accountability, honesty, empathy, and discipline.
I believe, everyone should have the opportunity to run their own business. I didn’t know this for sure until recently. Seeing again and again that employees don’t know how businesses make money, as well as businesses taking advantage of their employees, shocks me and saddens me, all at the same time. I have made it my focus to help businesses wherever and however I can, become successful. This isn’t passion. I’m talking about in your gut, I know this is right, kind of stuff. Lives change when people learn how to make their own money. It’s powerful. Confidence, assurance, and comfort happens. It’s transformative.
To have strong beliefs can be lonely. You have to toe the line when no one else believes. People will make fun of you, because they can’t see what you see. Stay the course. It gets easier. Eventually, you’ll get noticed for what you want people to see, there’s another way.