When You Jump Into the Deep End, It Matters Little How Deep the Water Is

by Ash Kumra

This chapter is a free excerpt from Confessions from an Entrepreneur (Volume 1).

Kent Healy: International Speaker, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Mogul & Author

One of the greatest defining traits of an entrepreneur is resourcefulness—the ability to use whatever finite resources are available to produce an extraordinary result. Rarely, if ever, do entrepreneurs have access to everything they need to accomplish their next ambitious goal in a single fell swoop. This means entrepreneurs must be able to build their ship while en route—or perhaps more accurately, build your wings before you smash into the ground.

So how does one learn to do this? There are a few routes: preparatory thinking, reading about other entrepreneurs, observing a mentor, consulting a mentor, and so on, but in my opinion, one method is markedly superior. The single best way to strengthen one’s ability to be exceptionally resourceful is to require it. Left to float too long at our lofty dreams we often move too slowly and become intimidated by expanding to-do lists and possibilities of failure.

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Kent Healy: International Speaker, Entrepreneur, Real Estate Mogul & Author

One of the greatest defining traits of an entrepreneur is resourcefulness—the ability to use whatever finite resources are available to produce an extraordinary result. Rarely, if ever, do entrepreneurs have access to everything they need to accomplish their next ambitious goal in a single fell swoop. This means entrepreneurs must be able to build their ship while en route—or perhaps more accurately, build your wings before you smash into the ground.

So how does one learn to do this? There are a few routes: preparatory thinking, reading about other entrepreneurs, observing a mentor, consulting a mentor, and so on, but in my opinion, one method is markedly superior. The single best way to strengthen one’s ability to be exceptionally resourceful is to require it. Left to float too long at our lofty dreams we often move too slowly and become intimidated by expanding to-do lists and possibilities of failure.

The other, more productive option, is throwing yourself into the deep end and then learning to swim. When success is your only option you’ll call upon far more creativity, urgency, and drive to find answers, learn rapidly, raise capital, and gain access to the myriad of things you will need to make it through another day.

In 2008, the real estate market crashed. But I smelled immense opportunity. There was only one problem: I didn’t know the first thing about real estate. Nada. Nothing.

I had two choices.
  1. Wait. I could take my time to build a foundation of knowledge and connections in a sheltered and structured environment. This would entail enrolling in classes, reading dozens of books, attending seminars, and practicing using the tools at my disposal.
  2. Jump in the deep end. This, of course, would mean building the bridge as I crossed the river… with no safety net. This option required that I get started and figure it out under the necessity to perform.
I chose option two—and I know this is the only reason I enjoy the level of success I have today. With much at stake I felt an immense sense of urgency to get the results I required. There was no time to fidget and no time to triple-guess my research and intuition. Like a coach hovering overhead during a tough practice, I was pushed to work harder, faster, and smarter—much more than I could have done relying only on self-discipline and goal setting.

I had inspiring, clearly defined goals, but after many long, hard weeks, it was the additional pressure to perform that continued to motivate me because I knew failure would be far more painful. If I had waited, the window of opportunity (the downturn in the economy and real estate market) would have closed.

As a result of jumping head first in the deep end, only four years later, I owned and operated two real estate companies, and I enjoy the benefits of passive income from each.

Sometimes you have to be willing to jump… And have faith in your ability to learn to swim. We may not have the most money, natural talent, formal education, physical resources, connections, etc., but as countless businesses have shown us over the course of history, those are not the defining factors of success. This is the crux of what it means to be resourceful: creating solutions and seizing opportunities with finite means. Many times, it’s not until you’re in the deep end that you realize what you’re truly capable of doing. Few things bring out more motivation and dormant talent than the necessary pressure to perform.

Essentially, you must call the shots in how your resources are to be applied, cultivated, or ignored. Business owner or not, as CEO of your life, it’s time to start thinking like one (and no, demoting yourself is not option). Fortunately, a jaw-dropping repertoire of skills and assets unique from competitors is not necessary for personal success. You simply need to be creative, resourceful, and committed to honing your abilities within our most constraining construct of all assets: Time.

The right combination of creativity and discipline invested in your existing assets will pay their weight in gold. In this case, remarkably, you have control of both.

So, take a deep breath, leap from your comfort zone, and enjoy the ride. Life is too short to remain a spectator on the shoreline.

* * * * *

Kent is an author, speaker, columnist, real estate investor, entrepreneur, artist, and advocate of applied sciences in the realm of personal lifestyle. He recently co-authored The 20 Success Principles For Teens with international celebrity, author, and entrepreneur Jack Canfield. Today Kent manages three businesses, writes two blogs, surfs whenever possible, and enjoys life with his wife.
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