I’ve been an entrepreneur, or engaged in entrepreneurial activities throughout my entire adult life. It has been an adventure to say the least, but it has also been a success. There are, no doubt, a lot reasons that lead to my experiencing a modest level of success, but one, more than any other, has always been essential.
Proper strategy was a critical component. If you're going to take the leap of faith and work for yourself, you have to have a plan and the faith to follow it through. You have to know that you are going to fail some of the time and you can't be afraid of that or you'll never make it. I set my sights on my goal and then relied on my wisdom, knowledge and experience, coupled with patient and persistent action, to ramp up each phase of my career. I suppose you could say that I took a dose of my own advice, but when you don't have a boss there is only one person you can blame if you don't succeed.
Despite all the pent-up emotion and ambition and vision and goals, the key to a successful, self-employed life, was ACTION. Ask yourself, how many people do you know who have great ambitions, but they never get there, or even remotely close. They may have a great plan, seems like they always do, but nothing ever happens for them. They never take action.
Any action is better than no action. Even if you don't have total success, at least you're moving, you're gaining experience, you're learning something, and that can be put to use to improve your next action, but if you don't take action, you have nothing. Things don't just happen. You have to make them happen. You can follow your heart, but don't expect it to lead you. You have to take your brain with you. You'll still have to think for yourself. Make your plan, set your short-term, concrete goals, get fixed on your long-term vision AND THEN DO SOMETHING. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, but you have to take the step.