This post was written by Dave Bentley, an entrepreneur and beatbox performer.
“Today is the day your life changes forever.”
I recently met Kate through EntrepreneurOnFire. We exchanged some emails, and after I told Kate a bit more about my journey, she suggested I share it with you here today.
Kate mentioned that most of you are either close to taking your own entrepreneurial leap, or that you’re already in the process of taking the necessary steps towards living the life you truly want to live.
I thought hard about the best way I could have an impact – to help you live the life that you desire and deserve – so I’ve decided to share my personal story with you and the challenges I’ve overcome to prove that anything is possible.
I also want to share the steps and information I’ve learned to help you develop a perspective and awareness that will set you up to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
So here goes…
I was born without the part of my brain that controls the right side of my body.
As a child, my right hand had the tendency to make a fist-like ball and stick to my chest. My shorter, weaker right foot was pointed inwards, which meant falling over on a weekly basis.
Unfortunately, the natural reaction to brace myself only existed on my left side, so I used to knock myself out every now and then.
Being a ‘different’ child meant I was bullied for about fourteen years on a daily basis in some form.
This came in the traditional form of being physically hit, along with attempts to throw me in the bin, and also in the form of mental bullying such as being laughed at or having girls be embarrassed to be around me. It smashed my self-esteem and made me wonder if a girl could ever like someone like me, or if I could ever achieve what I wanted in life.
My experiences as a disabled child made me feel like I had a different perspective than my friends; a perspective that was observant and more than just following the status quo. I believe it was this perspective that guided me on a different path.
I had to believe there was a better life for me as an adult, and I transferred this pain from my childhood into energy and motivation, which drove me to pursue my ultimate goals.
My Values In Life
I learned that what is most valuable in life is time, traveling and people. So I set out to design a life that gave me the freedom to travel, see the world and meet people, all while earning and building a business.
I was also inspired when I was fifteen to practice beat boxing, and I’ve now been practicing for ten years. I have performed onstage in over fifteen countries in front of tens of thousands of people, simply by asking for the opportunity to do so. Not for money, but to have fun and share a connection with people. I believe this the best way to perform around the world.
The exploration of new complex rhythm structures and sounds through beat boxing has allowed me to further improve my creative capacity and apply this to other areas of my life.
I started my first business when I was nineteen: a web development company. I taught myself everything I needed to know, and within weeks I was out selling to companies.
Six years later, I’m running my third company with three partners, two of whom I met while traveling.
We are building a social commerce platform called trendii. The platform uses images, articles, audios, videos and products, and it allows the user to express their emotions and ideas in an even more customized way.
We want to inspire users to be creative and to take social interaction to the next level.
Changing your life forever
Now it’s your turn to start designing your life.
If I can do it, then you can, too.
It would’ve been easy for me to have let my external influences get the better of me. Instead, I took action and made decisions. It’s a simple process once you understand the concepts.
Below, I outline the methodology I’ve created and that I’ve personally followed throughout my adult life. I also talk about the steps you can take in order to change your perception of reality and to shift the direction of your energy towards achieving your goals.
There is a reason that you have chosen to read this article today – especially to this point.
Make this the day you change your life forever.
Grab some paper and a pen and follow the steps below:
- What do you want to achieve?
- Why do you want to achieve this?
- What does it look like? What’s the vision here?
- What are the steps you need to take in order to get there?
Write the answers to these questions down.
If the steps you need to take are not clear, then write what down what you do know now. Next, start asking people who have had some success in this area for guidance on what they think these steps might be, and then you can revisit. This part you may have to keep adding to as the steps become more clear.
Who are you?
You are a product of your environment, influenced by the world we live in.
The market system doesn’t care if you are happy or fulfilled. The system is designed for you to be a super consumer, buying material things to fill a void, eating unhealthy food to fill an even bigger void, and working an unfulfilling job until death do thou part.
Do you follow the system, or do you take action in order to design your own life?
- Write down what you are not happy with in your life.
- Write “This is the reason that I want to take action and change my life forever.”
“I have seen where my life will go if I stay working in a supermarket. I will just scrape by doing the same thing every day. The monotony is going to kill my creativity and soul. I will receive no life fulfillment. This is the reason that I want to take action and change my life forever.”
Every day you wake up and go to sleep. You eat for energy, but what do you do with that energy?
It’s important to grow your level of awareness so you are fully aware of the way you use your energy.
Most people are not really aware of how they use their energy. They make little change to their direction of energy or their thought process on a day-to-day basis. Life is the sum of the decisions you make, so the more decisions you make, the more you are alive.
You make a decision to brush your teeth and to shower, so why not also make decisions that will lead to a happier and more fulfilled being?
What decision can you make now that will have a positive impact on your life?
- Write down the new decisions you are going to make to kick-start your new life.
|Reading a book||Allocating 2 hours a day for self development|
|Finish my website and business cards||Start being creative again|
|Stop watching TV||Start getting exercise each day|
|Eating only healthy food||Get on my feet and meet people|
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
― Pablo Picasso
At school we were taught in a linear fashion, which stamps on our creativity. Creativity allows us to find solutions and to see things in a different way. It is our highest conscious ability.
You are a very creative person, don’t ever forget that.
You’ve most likely just been caught-up in the rat race, which has caused you to stop doing those creative things you loved when you were younger. The path to success is not obvious, and typically counter intuitive, so it’s really important to exercise your creative capacity.
The more creative you are, the easier it will be to see your challenges from different perspectives that will help you find solutions.
How can you bring more creativity into your life?
- Write down what you can do to bring more creativity into your life.
|Drawing||Cooking new and creative meals|
|Painting||Brainstorming with a friend|
|Writing||Making up a game|
|Playing an Instrument||Doing something new on the weekend|
Most of what you do on a day-to-day basis is unconscious and done on autopilot.
Many of the things you are thinking are just recycled thought processes.
Every day that goes by where you haven’t taken action is wasted.
These thoughts just represent what your brain has stored from past experiences, which are replayed over and over again if you don’t make a conscious effort to think differently.
Are you aware of your thoughts?
- Get a new piece of paper . Write down some of the things you typically think about and that you want to stop thinking about, (at the end you are going to throw this list away.)
- On the first piece of paper, write the things you would like to start thinking about.
- Are there some negative thought patterns you have that you can flip around so that they’re positive?
- Write down that you are ready to become aware of your thought processes, and you are ready to disrupt the usual flow. State that you will change your thoughts to be positive and guided towards you achieving your goals.
“Mind your thoughts because they become words, mind your words because they become reality.”
― NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)
This is the most powerful quote from NLP, in my opinion.
Who would you like to be? Decide, and start saying it out-loud to yourself, to your friends or even post it on Facebook.
- Write down the new person you are transforming yourself to be.
|I am an entrepreneur||I am a writer|
|I am a singer||I am good at sales|
|I am a podcaster||I am good at communicating with people|
The words that come out of your mouth can have a powerful impact on your reality and the direction of your energy. It’s important to remove all negative language from your vocabulary.
Observing yourself is about being able to recognize when you’re being negative and to stop yourself before you say whatever it is you were going to say.
Choose to speak positively instead. It’s a choice, remember that.
It takes some practice, but it’s a very powerful and life-changing concept.
Make decisions, be vocal, take action and be creative.
Regardless of the personal qualities that I have, I also have many limitations. It’s a fact for all of us as humans. Understand what you are good at and connect with people who have complementary skills.
Stephen Covey, in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, speaks about inter-dependence as the best type of relationship to have. Bring value to the table and connect with people who also bring value from a different respect. Evolve, learn and grow together. This will allow you to create far better results than you could have ever done on your own.
Creativity truly works at its best when other people are involved. This includes solving much more complex problems and coming up with ideas one person could never have dreamed of.
I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with three other partners – all of whom bring a huge amount of value to the table in different respects.
We move fast, generate lots of ideas, and deliver creative and innovate results.
trendii will be the result of our combined energy.
Did I mention two of those partners are on the other side of the world?
The Internet brings us closer together than ever before. There’s no reason why you can’t work with people and develop a business remotely.
Is there someone you can connect with and go on this journey with?
- Brainstorm on your paper places where you can find and connect with people who have complementary skills and who are ready to take the next step.
|Co-working space||Business social networks/forums|
|Networking events||Elance.com/ peopleperhour.com|
There are one hundred billion stars in our galaxy and hundreds of billions of other galaxies in our universe, each with hundreds of billions of their own stars.
Now that gravitational waves have been detected for the first time, this indicates the likelihood of a multi-verse. Our universe could just be one of hundreds of billions.
We live on a tiny planet in a solar system orbiting one star. In the vastness of space and time, your limited conscious existence lasts for a spec of time in the grand scheme of things. It’s practically been and gone.
Do you really have time to waste?
- Write down how much time in a day you are going to allocate to connecting with people who can help you get one step closer to your goals.
- Where is your working space? Write down where it will be – and don’t say in your bed.
The only two words that need to be said for this part.
Your comfort zone represents the behaviors you have created over time; a state of being that is consistent and avoids risk. Most people live in reaction to their emotions. If it feels like there is a risk, or something to lose, your emotions make you feel anxious.
This can be something simple like having a conversation or picking up the phone. You’ll only be able to grow when you leave your comfort zone and overcome or harness your emotions.
You are not your emotions.
“ We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Are you ready to leave your comfort zone and grow?
- Write down the things you’re going to do to help you grow as a person and get closer to your goals.
|Make a call to a potential client||Approaching people, starting a conversation|
|Give a presentation||Facing a fear|
|Begin an old passion||Speak in front of large audience|
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and go after what you want. Over time you will create completely new habits.
The more you’re outside your comfort zone, the more confidence you’ll gain in all areas of your life, including raising your self-esteem.
You can’t have a healthy mind without a healthy body. You are what you eat.
It’s important that you strive for a healthy eating lifestyle if you want to stay focused and motivated.
Are you ready to cut unhealthy food out of your life and stay focused on your goals?
- Write down the healthy foods you are going to eat in order to keep your energy high and focused.
|Salmon||Fruits and Vegetables|
We live in uncertain and hostile times. The current economic model is based on infinite growth, (on a planet with finite resources), and we are destroying our environment in pursuit of profit.
Successful businesses in this new era are those that have sustainability rooted in their vision, and who are looking to find creative solutions to environmental and social issues, which they balance with profit.
Over to you
Type out what you have written from each exercise above.
Add any pictures that help illustrate your vision.
If you can’t type it, re-write it so it’s nice and clear. You can also draw the pictures to illustrate your vision.
Be ready to add to it over time and upgrade it as you grow and alter your approach.
Stick this piece of paper somewhere where you can read it every day.
Stay focused, keep making small steps forward, learn, grow and connect. You’ll reach your goals if you stay focused and work hard.
It’s a rocky road, and it takes a lot of time, but I know full well you’re more than capable. Remember it’s a journey, not a destination, and failures happen along the way.
I hope you’re able to get as much value out of this approach as I have.
Dave Bentley is an entrepreneur and beatbox performer. He is passionate about having a positive impact on the world by bringing together all of his knowledge and abilities and sharing that with others. He is currently working on a revolutionary social commerce platform called trendii.