Dear World Changer,
I get it. You want to change the world. You want to launch that business. You want to feed starving children. You want to change this nation’s laws on equality, gun rights, healthcare and more. You want to make an impact … a difference. And, spoiler alert, you are capable of that and so much more. There is a world shocking destiny sitting right down deep inside of you.
But before you change the world, there will be hurdles you will have to overcome. There will be roadblocks you will have to find your way around. There will be detours in life. There will be disappointments. And, there will be opportunities for you to throw in the towel. Just. Don’t. Quit.
When inventing the light-bulb Thomas Edison, famously, had this to say.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
My mentor, Pastor Patrick Ligon was the first to tell me that failure, no matter how large, is only feedback to help you improve and perform better. Thomas Edison continues, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
So, don’t give up. Even when it gets harder than expected, takes longer than expected and the people you were counting on stop helping, keep on going. The problems you are facing, and will face, are universal. Don’t worry. And remember, if changing the world was easy, everybody would do it.
So, here are three steps to keep you going as you pursue success, social impact, and global change. You got this!
1. Plan to Continue
Success is never an accident, but your journey will be riddled with them. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. You should expect this and plan to overcome them all. This is how you avoid quitting when times get tough, resources become low and your performance does not meet expectations. Plan to be an overcomer. Plan to continue when you feel like throwing in the towel. This is not about having a plan B, C and D. Contingency plans are important but that is not what I am saying.
Have a plan for what you do when you have no idea how you will make it out on top, launch that business, secure that loan, pass that class, pay that bill and change the world.
If you are ever stuck, my favorite tool is to say this simple affirmation until a solution shows up.
“I am an overcomer. I always win. I am coming out on top.”
2. Please, Handle Your Business
You will not be able to change the world alone. You will need help from people with the power, ability, and influence to do so. And, these people will have their act together. They will have your loan ready, scholarship fully funded, investment on standby, resources ready to be deployed. But, if you are not ready, their opportunities, status, and resources will stress you out. You may quit before you even get started out of fear, overwhelm, insecurity or shame.
My mentor taught me, if you stay ready you will not have to get ready. And, I have learned that the urge to quit always shows up when I did not handle my business by getting ready for the opportunity I desired.
First: Get started. If the opportunity is knocking, answer the door and get going. It’s too late to prepare anymore. You will just have to get ready your way. Never let a lack of preparation stop you from moving forward with a willing partner or favorable opportunity. Go as far as your integrity will take you.
Second: As you move forward with school, projects, business and life, schedule time to take care of your priorities. Don’t ignore the undisciplined areas of life just because an investor, teacher, bank, etc. gave you pass. Handling your business is a sign of maturity and will prepare you for the next and bigger opportunity.
Also, get the naysayers and negative influences out of your life. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to continue. Get around people who constantly tell you to overcome the odds, to believe again, try again and step out one more time. This is not about having cheerleaders. This is about surrounding yourself with people who will not let you make excuses when times get tough. 99% of my close-knit crew comes from the local ministry I am apart of. And, they don’t let me give up on dreams, visions or projects. My crew is full of overcomers and giant slayers.
Find you a crew, a place you go, where people encourage you to overcome the odds and win in spite of them.
As you identify negative influences, don’t tell them they are bad for you or that you are cutting them off. Just slowly stop answering their phone calls, networking with them and responding to their texts. They will get the picture. You never want to burn a bridge you may one day need to cross. And, if they ask you about it, just tell them “Oh, I am sorry. I was busy. What’s up?”
Other than that, World Changer, keep on doing what are doing. You are doing great. I can’t wait to see all the cool things you overcome and accomplish. And remember, just don’t quit.
Owner and Founder of Quarterwear.org
HOBY and WLC ’08
O. Falade is the owner and founder of Quarterwear.org, a clothing store that impacts 25 lives through charity with every sale. Every purchase from their current Merci clothing collection feeds 25 children through the non-profit Feeding Children Everywhere. Use the code “WORLDCHANGER” for a 10% discount while supplies last. Lifestyle and fashion bloggers, who would like to share the Quarterwear.org story and receive product submissions, are encouraged to reach out to him at ofalade [_at_] quarterwear.org.