“I can’t believe I’m still trying to figure this stuff out at my age.”

That’s what the guy said to me as we spoke about life, business and the future. This was the second time I had spoken to this guy. The first was at a meting set up by a mutual friend. He’s talented, super intelligent, poised for a win and also feeling defeated.

“You’re going to be ok. You have what it takes.” That was my response.

“How do you know that,” replied my friend.

“Because I’m just a lap ahead of you.”

My friend is trying to figure out his career. He has a certain talent and needs to hammer away at building the business he really wants, but it doesn’t pay…yet. He doesn’t know how to make money at it, but the gig meets a need of many small business owners and entrepreneurs. And, it will pay.

In the meantime, he’s in his forties and working in a job he doesn’t get fired up about. As a result, he’s underachieving at that job and not taking much action pursuing what he really wants to do. He’s stuck. He’s down. He’s tired and he’s not sure how to shake it.

“I’m a Lap Ahead of You”

I took a risk several years ago, stepped out of that same situation and began my construction of the MOTORhood. I also did it with a wife and three kids and at the age of about 40. I’ve been down, doubted myself and actually said those same words.

“I can’t believe I’m still figuring this stuff out at this age.”

My friend and I are going to grab some time in the next week or so to talk about where he’s at and where he wants to go. I will share the things that I dealt with and my view of them now. I will bear all…

There are Many More Just Like Us

I also know there are many more like us. We’re at a certain point in life where we feel we should have it all together by now and we don’t. I want to share a few things that I’m beginning to see clearly now that I’m a lap ahead of some of you. I hope some of this helps:

Reframe Success

If you make a lot of money are you successful? What if you don’t? Do you need to have the big retirement account, a vacation home and all your ducks in row by the time you’re a certain age?

Success means you’re becoming the person you want to be.

It has nothing to do with your title, position or wealth. I know many financially rich people. Some are happy and some are not. Same with the non-wealthy peeps I know. Success or lack of success should be a very personal thing based upon your definition only.

Do you like who you are?

You. Not the external stuff, but you.

The external things will usually change. Most of it you have no control over. The job can be lost, the house can burn and you may not be able to retire for a number of reasons. I’ve spoken before about setting identity based goals. Maybe it’s time to talk about identity based success?

“I’m the type of person who can be counted on.”

“I’m the type of woman who …”

Reframe success. Don’t base yours on what the media, the marketers or the Joneses think success is. Define your own.

Growth Comes Through Discomfort

I say embrace resistance. Challenge yourself. Go the hard way. If you’re at a point in life where you’re not feeling right about where you’re at then face it and confront it. Too many people ignore the inner pokes that our souls give them.

If making a big change is something you feel is needed then do it. Test yourself. You have what it takes. Follow your heart, gut or whatever else is calling you to step out and be different.

Trust me. Most people I talk to about the change I made years ago say things like, “Wow. I wish I could do that. That takes guts.”

They want to do it. But so many fears keep them from pulling the trigger. What story do you want to tell your grandkids? That you settled or that you explored, tested yourself and found out how far you were made to go?

Buy Some Time

The friend I mentioned above was feeling like crap because he was working a job he didn’t like.

Please understand this: I am not saying that you should only do what you love and what makes butterflies follow you as fairies serenade you with Air Supply songs.

Sometimes you need to do crap you don’t like. So what. You’re working a job you don’t like…while you build your dream.

You’re buying time for you to figure out how you’re going to build your vision. You’re buying some time to learn how to make money at it. You’re buying time and giving yourself a chance to learn more about you, the new industry and other challenges that may come up. You’re buying time to learn what success really means to you.

It’s ok to build slow. It’s ok to wait tables, wash cars, paint houses. Do whatever it takes to free up your mind and time to pursue the thing you really want.

A job doesn’t need to be your career. Nor does it define you unless you let it.

Where are you at? Are you successful? Why or why not? What are your big struggles in regards to being successful?

PS-Don’t forget to work on you.

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