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Make Things Happen: 3 Examples of Entrepreneurial Proactivity

There is one key difference I’ve noticed among successful business owners and the “wantreprenuer” crowd. One group is waiting for the right _______ (fill in the blank). And the other group decided to make things happen for themselves. Period.

I’ll let you take a lucky guess on which group is successful.

Today, I want to show you three perfect examples of what it looks like to “make things happen” for yourself.

Example 1:

James Clear is a good friend and an impressive business guy. He’s built a number of businesses and travels the world taking incredible photographs. He was in Austin recently along with Brennan Dunn.

While we were driving, I asked James about why he is bald.

James told me that when he started to notice that his hair was thinning, he was going to create his own solution. Instead of waiting for his hair to completely go away, he decided shave his head.

Then like a muscular buddha he shared his bald-headed wisdom with me.

“If someone mentions that you’re balding, you have to say, ‘Oh, yeah, it happened to me.’ But if they mention you shave your head, then you can simply say, ‘I chose to do it.'”

The sense of personal agency behind that statement is huge. Shaving his head put James in control–not his genetics.

Example 2:

When I bike around Austin, I’ll look around to see if there are any for-sale signs. Even if there’s a house or apartment I like, I always have to wait (and hope) it’ll go on sale someday.

And real estate agents have to wait until a seller comes asking for help.

But here is a letter I received a few weeks ago:

Chloe isn’t waiting for those people to put their places on the market. She’s creating her own solution, creating an advantage for herself, by going after the properties that she wants to be able to sell.

She is creating her own unlisted market and building a ton of rapport with potential sellers.

Example 3:

Alright, here is a third example (and oddly enough it’s about real estate too) about how to make things happen for yourself.

My friend Matt spent more than 2 years looking at housing listings to buy a place in south Austin. Every couple weeks he would take a look at the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) to see what was on the market.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

He couldn’t find a single house that he wanted to buy. Then his wife got pregnant. Yay!

But they didn’t want to buy a new place (and move, buy new furniture, etc) if they couldn’t find it in the first few months. (Apparently moving with a pregnant wife is never fun.)

Instead of waiting and hoping they would get lucky, Matt got on Google Earth and scouted houses that were in their ideal neighborhoods and had pools.

He created a list of all of the houses he liked and then wrote a letter to the owners.

In the letter he explained that his wife was pregnant and that he was interested in buying the person’s house. Then he drove around for 3 hours and and left the letter on their doorstep or doors.

Within a week, three people responded to his offer and now he lives in one of the houses!

* * *

What do these three examples teach us?

There is an epidemic of waiting for the right circumstances, waiting for success, or waiting for everything to align just right before we take a step forward.

I call it conditional living:

“I’ll do that when…”

“It won’t work because…”

“There’s nothing available. I already looked…”

“I’ll wait until I’m fired…”

How many people wait to make a huge change or take a risk until they get fired, have a baby, or face some other challenge?

It’s way too easy to blame others instead of taking responsibility and creating the solution.

And now that this topic has been on my mind I hear and see it everywhere I go…even in Shakespeare.

I’ve hated Shakespeare since I was young. (Mostly cause the reading comprehension thing confused me…the “tis,” “thou,” “thee”…)

Luckily, a few days ago, a friend was reading Hamlet out loud. She read one of the most famous lines in all of literature. I was blown away by what Shakespeare was implying.

99% of you have heard this quote, but I doubt many have read the entire part:

“To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.”

In summary, he’s saying should we put up with what’s happening to us (outrageous fortune)

Or we can take action and make things happen by ending our sea of troubles.

Ask yourself…

What am I doing when my day is going poorly?

What am I doing when a client/partner/customer rejects me and things aren’t moving forward?

What are you doing when there are no houses available? Or when my hair is thinning?

Ultimately, are things happening to you or are you making things happen? (Click to tweet)

What is 1 thing you are going to make happen today?

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138 responses to “Make Things Happen: 3 Examples of Entrepreneurial Proactivity”

sadie hill
June 29, 2017 at 12:47 am

I went in search of a solution for my problem when My husband wants to divorce me. we was married for 9 years and we have been through a lot, he has cheated on me before but I forgave him because I love him and moved on but later again he met a girl at work and thinks he is in love with her, so one day he told me he wants a divorce, for me I don’t because I still loved him I know this must sound stupid but never wanted him go. I tried to make him see he is making a mistake but everything went wrong, I loved him so much but he refused to change his mind, i waited for him to come to his senses but nothing worked, i went in search of help and i was directed to contact a spell caster for help because i knew that will be the best solution, then i contacted dr_mack@yahoo. com to help me to unite i and my husband and finally i and my husband are perfectly together as one which was awesome, my husband is back to his senses, It felt good to have my Husband back
State: Texas
Country: United States

December 12, 2019 at 2:08 am

God Bless You

Arlene Whiting
October 10, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Start a new income stream. Seek unconventional housing.

August 4, 2016 at 9:53 am

Been on a slump lately. Thanks Noah for giving this great piece of advice.

February 15, 2016 at 11:46 pm

I like this post Noah, means I need to get off my sorry butt and make something happen

Alice Lopes
January 12, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Great post! Thanks!

Brian Kessler
October 4, 2015 at 7:27 pm

You wrote this post for me Noah. Thanks for giving me a shot in the arm to get me off of my ass and back into the mix.

September 20, 2015 at 6:50 pm

Great post Noah, thank you for sharing with clear examples of life!
From Nicaragua, Central America, best regards!

john waz
September 1, 2015 at 9:45 am

i will get more assertive towards problematic friends and let them know where i stand

June 4, 2015 at 9:36 am

How nice and dandy 🙂 It all sounds so cool and easy…All you have to do is act ..right? Like this Tony Robins dude “Act now” 🙂 Why don’t you tell this to the poor people in Indian slums and Brazilians flavelas 🙂 Better yet…to the dying kid in Africa..go and tell him..don’t die…act now..make your own fate! It’s your fault! I appreciate the efforts of Marketeers to try and inspire others with zazzy blogs and examples but the truth is that the world does not work that way! Of course the Marketeer is only interested in marketing so by definition he will tell you only what you want to hear .. It’s in your hands..grab are lazy 🙂 Then you get cancer or get hit by a drunk driver and you suddenly realize that things are not really under your control and making the proverbial lemonade is nothing more than a catchy phrase…

Brett Thompson
March 20, 2015 at 11:35 am

Awesome post. Exactly what I needed to hear. Today, I will start my plan for getting out of the rut! I started to think my current situation was all I had to look forward to for the rest of my days. It is refreshing to remember we can let life happen to us, or we can make life happen the way we want it to! Thanks again!

January 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

To BE..that is the answer ! Im moving forward on many fronts today, Thanks for the wisdom and encouragement !

December 24, 2014 at 5:15 am

“What is 1 thing you are going to make happen today?” –
I wrote this sentence on my phone alarm to play in an hour. I’ll do it every hour during the day. Today will be a long day, but maybe this way I can make it less stressful.
As for you, have a great day. You’ve probably made my a little better.

November 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Such a great post. This is something I have been realizing lately myself. There really is no right time for something to happen. You have to just choose to go and make it happen right now or else you will just come up with an excuse or reason. This present moment is the right time!

John Meese
November 21, 2014 at 6:59 am

Love this, Noah, great post! I totally agree, a key difference between the successful and the wannabes lies in this principle. Keep up the good work 😉

November 9, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Awesome post. Get off your butt and take control of your life.

Shimeka Williams
November 5, 2014 at 4:59 am

My sentiments exactly. Thank you for sharing those great examples.

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