Become a Change Maker

Rodriguez consoled bleacherreportdotnet
James Rodriguez of Colombia consoled by Dani Alves and David Luiz of Brazil after their match won by Brazil.

The World Cup is over. Life is back to normal. Of course football lovers are still counting how many matches took place, how many goals were scored, how many cards were given… how come no one is counting the saves? I’ve never seen so many spectacular saves in a single tournament.

Beyond the tackles, the blood, the hugs and the tears, something stood up though invisible. It was present all the time, palpable in the air and it plagued the players from the beginning to the end of the tournament. Some brought it with them to the tournament and returned home with it. Some acquired it for the first time on the pitch as a result of a spectacular or stupid action. That’s pressure. The extraordinary pressure that the stars, both individual players and entire teams had to withstand. Any team that qualifies to take part in the World Cup is a winner, and so is every player who makes it to his national team. These are people who overcome extraordinary odds to reach high levels of sporting achievement.

Budding entrepreneurs go through a similar kind of pressure, especially when their idea is unique and ground breaking. For Darren Hardy, Publisher of SUCCESS Magazine, entrepreneurs should get used to that kind of pressure, as it is part of the life of a change maker. On a recent Success CD he shared six tips on how to become the change maker you want to be in your market place, in your community and within your family.

  1. Have steadfast, unrelenting focus
    Learn to say NO to anything that doesn’t significantly contribute to your grand mission. That means 99% of seemingly great ideas, opportunities and shiny objects. As Steve Jobs said, people think ‘focus’ means saying yes to the things you’ve got to focus on. But it rather means saying no to hundreds of other good ideas. Pick carefully. Success is saying NO to a thousand things. No is uncomfortable. Get used to it.
  2. Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable
    To change the game you have to step outside your comfort zone. The status quo is the box you have to step out of and break. You will be living out of the box and being uncomfortable most of the time. Stress, anxiety, pressure, pain and discomfort are part of the change making game. If you decide to play this game, learn not just to accept feeling uncomfortable, but even to enjoy it a bit.
  3. Have an unshakable resolve.
    Your resolve will be tested at every turn. You’ll feel like quitting. The world around you will plot and scheme to try to get you to stop. But you’ll have to be steadfast and unflinching, even to your own inner voice that will doubt you, question your capabilities and might conspire against you, telling you that you can’t go on. You’ll have to look everyone around you squarely in the eye, maybe even yourself in the mirror and declare with absolute, unwavering certainty “I will not stop. I will not be denied. I will succeed. I will persevere until the mission is accomplished.”
  4. Ignore the haters
    Even well-meaning and sometimes not so well meaning people will try and trample on your big ideas, particularly when they are newly born and infant, when they are most vulnerable. Sometimes it only takes one negative or even slightly cautious off the cuff remark by someone to have people forego their dreams and ambitions. Not you. Ignore them. They are jealous of you, your courage, your ambition and your resolve. People don’t like change. They are afraid of the change you speak of. That’s why game changers are always going to be attacked, marked or plotted against. If you have haters, congratulations! You are officially disrupting the status quo. You are in the game changers’ club.
  5. Love failure
    Failure is learning. Failure is growth. Failure is the cabro stone road towards success. Failure is success in development. As Thomas Edison experienced, it took him 10000 failures to make a single success. That one success was not possible without the 10000 steps of failure. See the barrage of failures as your entry fee, your rite of passage. It’s what separates the pretenders from the real winners; those who talk the game and those who play it to win. You don’t get to the platform of success through any other pathway than through an unrelenting barrage of failures. Know it and learn to enjoy it. Maybe even fall in love with it. To be a game changer, you’ll be failing more often than succeeding. But the success is so worth it.
  6. No excuses
    No matter what happens, it’s your fault. You’ll need to take 100% accountability for everything, in every circumstance, at all times, always. Game changers lead from the front. You are breaking new territory charting new waters. You are changing the rules, thus writing the new ones. No one is responsible for anything but you. Certainly you’ll recruit a team, delegate and assign responsibility, but to be a game changer you’ll have to rise to the highest levels of leadership, and that’s taking full responsibility for all the outcomes and actions of your organization. What they do and how they react to what’s done to them. No excuses ever.

Have you experienced failure that shaped your destiny or altered the direction of your business? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

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About Angela

Angela Kamanzi is passionate about empowering African women through entrepreneurship. She is the publisher and founding editor of MKAZI, a digital magazine that offers solutions and tools to women who are starting up in business or taking their ventures to the next level. She is the founder of BizzRafiki-Your Friend in Biashara, a mentorship program which specialises in helping budding or aspiring women entrepreneurs start or grow high income business ventures from their passion. For more than ten years she contributed to a number of local and international publications as a freelance writer. She has 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship. She lives in Nairobi with her husband and their two sons. Her journey was featured on Lionesses of Africa, on AM Live NTV , in the Saturday Nation, on Supamamas website and Mummy Tales blog.

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