Photo Credit: The Thinking Doll
It’s been seven months since my last day of cubicle work. A lot has happened since then. We sold all our stuff, visited family and friends for a while, moved to Chiang Mai in Thailand, started The Global Bookshelf, and set ourselves on an entrepreneurial path with all the ups and downs that go along with that.
The best thing we did though? Surround ourselves with passionate, motivated, forward-thinking, successful people.
Chiang Mai is a hub for digital entrepreneurs. The laid back vibe of the city, coupled with a warm climate, cheap living, and fast internet means that there is a large community of people making an unconventional living.
It took a while, and it meant really stepping out into uncomfortable to make ourselves go to the meetups, but we wormed our way in and were left nothing short of super inspired.
I realized that we always underplay our successes. I met people that I already knew on-line; people I consider successful and ahead of me. My confidence soared as I found that I actually know more than I realize and am just as successful as these friends. I just need to start using what I know rather than hiding behind always thinking I need to learn more. More action and less preparation.
I found that even the most innocuous of conversations can be a learning event. I would learn about a new process or method while chatting to someone while at our workout sessions. I would find out about a new tool or website while sharing a beer at one of the fabulous dinners our friends would host. I just needed to step out and take the time to ask the questions. Almost every single conversation I had ended with me running home to research whatever I had unearthed.
I now know just how hard people are working to make their dream come true. Being surrounded by successful people means being surrounded by some of the hardest working people I have ever met. The hours people are putting in, the innovative ideas they are generating, and the dedication they have left me reeling. It’s the difference between knowing the kind of time people are putting in and realizing just how much time that really is. I was left impressed and quickly recognized that we need to step it up.
It’s challenging to surround yourself with people who are better than you. It’s comfortable to stay in a familiar circle relying on what you know and feeling confident in your abilities. It’s more than worth it to step out and see what you can learn.
Two things I have learned:
- You know more than you think you know. Once I started talking to people I realized that my knowledge base is quite wide and deep and that often, even if I don’t know something, I can relate it to what I do know. Turns out that the chasm between what I want to know and what I do know isn’t that big.
- People want to help. They are willing to answer questions, tell you what they’re up to, and share their hard earned secrets. No, they’re not going to tutor you but if you listen closely, ask questions, and respect what it is they do, answers will result and then it’s up to you.
I had no idea of all the different things people were up to. Meeting so many digital entrepreneurs here has opened my eyes to the myriad of ways that people are out there making a living. Sure, it’s not all for me but I have learned something from every single person I have met. I can only hope that perhaps I have helped someone along the way also.
Success is definitely more than just what you know, it’s also about who you know and what you can learn from them. Agree?