Most people want to be successful. But what does that mean, exactly? For many, it means financial wealth. For others, it might mean achieving a certain level of fame or notoriety. And for still others, success might be simply about living a happy and fulfilling life. Whatever your definition of success is, one thing I’ve learned is that if you want to be successful, start from nothing.
Think about it. Every single successful person – whether we’re talking about Ralph Lauren or Oprah Winfrey or Steve Jobs – started from nothing. They had no money, no connections, and no experience. And yet they were able to achieve their wildest dreams. Why? They persevered because they didn’t have the luxury of quitting.
As a serial entrepreneur myself who has created numerous firms while having no money, no training, and no prior experience, I can attest that starting with nothing is the surest path to success. You have no preconceived notions of what you can and cannot do. You’re not weighed down by baggage or obligations. You’re free to take risks and follow your dreams. Yes, it is scary starting with nothing. But it is also incredibly liberating.
So how can you be successful when you start from nothing?
- Believe in yourself – This is number one for a reason. If you don’t believe in your ability to achieve success, you never will. When starting from nothing, it’s easy to doubt yourself. But if you can push through that self-doubt and have faith in your abilities, anything is possible.
- Be persistent – Quitting is not an option when you have nothing to fall back on. When you’re starting from scratch, you will face many challenges and setbacks. But if you are persistent, you will find a way to overcome them. Failures are inevitable, but they can also be incredibly valuable learning experiences.
- Stay focused – It’s easy to get sidetracked when starting from nothing. There are a million different things you could be doing, and it’s tempting to try to do all of them. But if you want to be successful, you need to stay focused on your goals and pursue them relentlessly.
- Be ready to work hard – Nothing worth having comes easy. When you’re starting from nothing, you’ll have to work harder than everyone else just to catch up. But if you’re willing to put in the extra effort, you will be rewarded.
- Discipline, dedication, and determination – these are the three things you need to be successful, no matter what your starting point is. Discipline to stay laser focused on your goals, dedication to work hard, and determination to figure it out even when it feels impossible.
- Cultivate success habits – Finally, one of the most important things you can do when starting from nothing is to cultivate success habits. This means setting goals, being organized, staying focused, and always learning and growing. By developing these habits, you will put yourself on the path to success.
“All big things come from small beginnings. The seed of every habit is a single, tiny decision. But as that decision is repeated, a habit sprouts and grows stronger. Roots entrench themselves and branches grow. The task of breaking a bad habit is like uprooting a powerful oak within us. And the task of building a good habit is like cultivating a delicate flower one day at a time.” ― James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
So, if you’re ready to make your goals a reality, begin with nothing and start wherever you are with what you have. Need some support? Be sure to check out our membership platform, The Lyons Den.