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How Did You Get To Where You Are Today

by Madiha Rizvi
How Did You Get To Where You Are Today

How Did You Get To Where You Are Today

How did you get to where you are today? I know, the question seems simple on the surface. It’s often asked at interviews or during conversations with friends and family.

The real answer isn’t always as easy as it seems because people rarely tell their story in a coherent (or even interesting) fashion. My story is no different so let’s break down the pieces and examine each part.


By Avoiding Mistakes

I got to where I am today by avoiding mistakes. It’s that simple. I don’t make mistakes.

When I meet with a prospective client, the first thing I say is, “Hire me and you will avoid making a mistake.”

If they want to take their business to the next level, they need someone like me to avoid mistakes on their behalf. They don’t have time to avoid mistakes themselves because they’re too busy working in their business.

Mistakes are something that other people make, not successful entrepreneurs like them — or me.

Avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things you can do in life. You can’t succeed unless you avoid mistakes.

It’s also important not only to avoid your own mistakes, but also to avoid the mistakes of others. Because if you don’t, then you’re just as big a fool as the person who made that mistake in the first place.

How could you possibly think it would be okay for you to make a mistake when someone else has already made that exact same mistake? That would be ridiculous!


Gather Inspiration From Others

There are stories of people who have made millions and blew it all, and now they’re back to square one. It’s not just about being a millionaire; it’s about creating an empire, building a legacy, and making a difference.

I’m serious. I know you don’t need another motivational speaker lecturing you on the importance of creating something greater than yourself, but this is not that.

This is real talk from someone who is no longer in the game for himself alone. Having money is great — it can change your life and put you in position to help others do better. But that last bit — helping others do better — is what really matters … at least to me.

So how did I get here? How did I go from sleeping on sofas and living out of my car to traveling the world, telling my story to millions, and being asked for advice by some of the biggest companies in the world? By gathering inspiration from others.


Prepare For A Long Journey

I got to where I am today—a full-time freelance writer—by preparing for a long journey.

The people who make a living as freelance writers after just a few months are the small minority. For most of us, it takes years to build up momentum.

Writing is a craft, and the more you practice it, the better you get at it. If you’re not willing to put in the time and energy, you’ll probably never make a living doing this.


Leave Your Comfort Zone

I have to admit that I’m a comfort-zone junkie. I tend to stay in my comfort zone as much as possible and don’t like to take risks. So when I was asked to write an article on leaving your comfort zone, I was a bit scared.

I didn’t know what to write about, so I started thinking about the things I’ve done in the past that are out of my comfort zone. What I found surprised me: almost everything in my life has taken me outside of my comfort zone.

I got the job at Shopify by leaving my comfort zone

When I applied for a job at Shopify, it was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. The job was in a city that was an eight-hour drive away from where I lived, which meant moving and leaving behind all my friends and family. But moving away and getting the job at Shopify is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m a big believer in the 80/20 principle, which states that 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs. Similarly, when it comes to personal development, 80% of your growth is often derived from 20% of the activities you pursue.

For example, if you seek out uncomfortable experiences, you are more likely than not to learn something new and develop as a person. 

I’m currently in my mid-twenties and have created a life for myself that I am passionate about. I’ve started my own business and became a published author, all within the last year or so.

I don’t say this to brag — but rather to share what I have learned from pursuing these goals — leaving your comfort zone is essential for self-growth and success in life.


Be Okay With Failing

My first business failed miserably. I lost a ton of money, embarrassed myself in front of friends and family, wasted a lot of time and energy and had nothing to show for it.

When I started my second company, I lost all my money again, but this time I was able to sell the company for a little bit of money (I needed the money to pay rent).

My third company failed too.

I didn’t start making real money until my fourth business — which meant I failed three times before I succeeded.

You need to accept failure as part of the process. You will fail many, many times before you succeed — if you succeed at all.

The fear of failure is what stops most people from starting something new or putting themselves out there. This fear holds them back and prevents them from reaching their potential. The longer they wait to start something new, the more they increase their chances of being left behind as the world moves on without them.

How Did You Get To Where You Are Today


Wake Up Early

Waking up early means you have time to plan the day ahead and focus on any important tasks. If you have a business idea, then getting up an hour earlier can give you extra time to work on it.

When you wake up early, your brain is more likely to be at its most alert making it easier for you to focus.

I got to where I am today by waking up at 5am every morning and setting aside some quality “me” time. I do my journaling, reading, yoga and meditation before anyone else in my household has even woken up. It’s a great way to start the day because when I go into my office, I’m focused and ready to go 100 miles per hour!


Not Letting Anything Or Anyone Confuse My Mind

I got to where I am today By Not letting anything or anyone Confuse my mind.

When I was younger, I let so much affect me and change me as a person, but now I don’t let anything affect my life.

I have learned that no matter what happens, in order to get through the day you have to stay focused on your goals and dreams. If you get caught up in little things, they will always keep coming back to mess with you.

I have learned a lot by doing so. It took me a long time to build the confidence that I have now and no one can take that from me.

I’m a big believer that your thoughts create your reality. And if you allow negative thoughts to consume you, then they will consume your life.

You can’t change the things that are out of your control but you can change the way you think and feel about them.

When it comes to the people that have wronged me in the past, I don’t dwell on it. I don’t think about what they did to me anymore; instead, I think about all the lessons that I learned from that experience.


Listening More Than I Speak

I got to where I am today by listening more than I speak.

I learned early on that listening was a key to understanding what needed to be done to succeed, whether it was landing an account with a new client or working with my team to solve an issue.

Understanding what needed to be done was the first step; being able to share your vision for success and inspire others to follow was the next.

As I grew in the ranks, I realized that leaders who listened were much more effective than those who didn’t. The best leaders are the ones who listen, understand and then engage in dialogue rather than simply reacting to new information.

Listening is a gift. It’s caring about others and their point of view.


Respecting Time Boundaries And Deadlines

I got to where I am today by respecting time boundaries and deadlines. I never missed a deadline, so I always made the cut. That’s how I built my reputation and my business.

I learned the value of respecting time boundaries and deadlines from my father, who was my boss when I was a teenager working at his restaurant.

He was extremely dedicated to his job and taught me, by example, that a man is only as good as his word. If you say you will be somewhere at a certain time,you had better be there or else your word means nothing and you are not worth the salt. 

My father also taught me that hard work pays off. He instilled in me an incredible work ethic that has helped me succeed in this business and all other aspects of my life.

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