Just because someone tells you that you are out of your mind or that you’re dreaming way too big, it doesn’t mean you have to listen!
As an ambitious entrepreneur and business owner, not everyone is going to be on your side and believe in your vision. You will probably have more people tell you what you can or cannot do more than what others will ever experience. Whether these people are just negative in general or envious that you are attempting to live your passion and turn that into a business is really a non-factor.
I am a prime example of what can happen when you silence all of the negativity and go to work on your dream. In high school, I was told I would either be dead or in jail by the time I was 21. When I came to my senses and had a very special moment with the man upstairs, I decided once and for all that I wanted to change my life for the better.
At the time, the only way I knew how to pay back those I hurt and loved the most was through athletics. Right then and there began a whole new journey for me. I proudly went around telling all of my family and friends that I wanted a division one scholarship for football.
People laughed at me, even those who loved me most. What did I do? I silenced the external noise and fought day and night for my dream. Every waking moment I worked on my craft and deep down knew that I was going to make something of myself.
Six months later, I received a total of 19 division one scholarship offers from some of the most prestigious athletic programs in the country.
Once I got to college at Indiana University, it began all over again. I repeatedly was told, “You made it collegiately, but you will never play a down of professional football.” I kept working on my dream and most importantly never lost the faith in myself and what was in store for me in the future. Three years later, I signed a contract with my hometown team the Chicago Bears.
Unfortunately, I suffered an ankle injury as an NFL rookie while playing against the San Diego Chargers. The same old external noise and negativity found its way back into my life. Over and over again I was told how athletes never make anything of themselves once they are done playing their sport. Obviously this isn’t the case for all former athletes, but this is the type of junk that was being said to me everywhere I went.
The injury I sustained wasn’t career ending, but I was out long enough to reflect back on my journey and what I really wanted out of life. This is where I discovered my true purpose. My why.
Five years later, I get to travel the world and speak to people at some of the greatest companies on the planet. Please understand that none of this is to impress you, but to impress upon you. That if I can do half of what I have done throughout 27 years of life, you can as well and even so much more.
It all comes down to silencing the noise, negativity and hate from outsiders who tell you that you will never amount to anything or that there is no possible way that you can get your idea up and running and off the ground. This noise that you will hear from people throughout the course of your journey doesn’t say anything about you but everything about the person it’s coming from. When people see you working towards building a bigger future for yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone, they get envious and wish they had the courage and strength to do the same.
The sad thing is that some of this noise and negativity may even come from those closest to you. Regardless of whether they are close to you, it’s extremely imperative that you silence the noise and fight for your dream every waking moment.
At the end of the day, there aren’t many things that feel better than standing victorious and proving all of the doubters that initially counted you out or called you crazy wrong. Silence the noise and fight for your dream!