One of the big problems for entrepreneurs who have been successful over the years is that they start getting very, very heavy. They’re carrying around an enormous amount of experience from the past, bags and bags full of experience, and it makes them feel old and tired. Some of these experiences were positive ones, and some were defeats or failures, but they don’t make any differentiation among all this experience.
As a result, they’re carrying a burden on their backs, which causes them to slow down. Anytime they contemplate doing something new, they say, “Yeah, but I have to move all my bags of experience. It’s going to weigh me down.”
Creating a bigger future from a better past.
One of the most important things about having a better future is making sure you have a better past. The first thing to do is recognize that not everything from your past is useful. As a matter of fact, if you’re going to create a bigger future, there are just four things to bring along from your past:
To create a bigger future, bring these four things along from your past.
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The first things you want to take with you are all the commitments you made in the past, all the times you committed to a big future vision. That’s where all growth for entrepreneurs actually starts—with big commitments.
You also want to bring with you all the examples of courage in your past where you visualized a big jump in your performance and results, and you moved forward before you had any evidence that it was going to work out. These were the big risks you took and investments you made that at the time felt scary.
Every time you created a new capability—new personal abilities, new hires, new technologies, new knowledge, new information, new strategic alliances, new opportunities—that gets to come along.
Lastly, every time you had a big win or a big breakthrough and your confidence took a jump, those experiences get to come along as well.
I call these the 4 C’s: commitment, courage, capability, and confidence. For any entrepreneur, they’re the only things worth bringing along to a bigger and better future.
When entrepreneurs use the 4 C’s as their standard for looking at and evaluating their pasts, what happens is that they get very lightweight. All of a sudden, they become much younger. They retain all the knowledge they’ve gained from their entrepreneurial success, but they get the feeling of starting over again, this time at a much higher level.
They’re able to go back to the same level of excitement and enthusiasm and motivation they had when they began as entrepreneurs. But they’re much better equipped because they’re doing it with everything they’ve gained from all of their experience, without any of the burden. It’s a marvelous approach to looking at the future in a new and fresh way.