“To believe in yourself and to follow your dreams, to have goals in life and a drive to succeed, and to surround yourself with the things and the people that make you happy – this is success!”
– Sasha Azavedo

Eight successful entrpreneurs presented at @Cre8Con 2011. They each spoke about obstacles they overcame and the approaches they took that turned their passions into success. Each of the panelists have transformed what fuels their fire into fruitful business ventures and the resulting work is…phenomenal!

Was it an easy path for any of the eight panelist? No. The deep story behind all the successes was the same; Each had tried and failed miserably and more than once in many cases. So why were they successful? How did it work for them when so many people go to work every day at “jobs” that they find unrewarding.

The common denominator in each presenter was that they had all identified what it was they were truly passionate about and made a decision to pursue it no matter what the obstacle. Each person experienced a moment where, after failure, they stopped and reassessed what they were doing and why it wasn’t working. In some instances, they were trying to please other people instead of staying true to their passion. Some were stuck in the rut of doing what historically worked initially for fear of being unsuccessful at the next thing. Some spent lengths of timeaway to reconnect and just be…listening to their inner voice to learn what they needed to do to be the best them that they could be.

How many people give up after trying and failing once, or even twice? What if they stuck it out? What potentially amazing life works can come out of someone who does what they love every day? When you’re 95 years old, how great to look back at that journey?

So how do you become one of the success stories? @JellyHelm seemed to have it figured out…and he’s smiling. So I’m guessing he’s on the right track. I took away from his story these three questions.

Ask yourself:
1. What do I love and feel passionate about?
2. What am I doing about it?
3. How can my passion and love benefit others?

Sometimes you ask youself these question and get an answer right away. Other times you have to really search yourself and the people you surround yourself with to find the answers. Don’t be afraid to ask the people who are close to you.

One of the speakers was #IreneTaylorBrodski, a documentary director. During a time after she’d begun her career journey, an opportunity to film a life-changing procedure presented itself. A deaf married couple who underwent surgery to hear again was almost not captured. The reason? They were Irene’s parent’s and so close to her that it was only from a friends suggestion that the idea even came about. Irene went on to film the award winning #SundanceFilmFestival documentary Hear & Now. So you see, sometimes the opportunities are right in front of us and we just need to step back to see them.

Is it easy? No. Each of the panelist had tried and failed. Each had been out of their comfort zone and scared. But being scared is human. If you’re scared, it’s because you’re in unchartered territory. You’re likely trying something new or in a different way that may lead to success or failure. Or maybe you begin to surround yourself with peers who are “out of your league” or better than you. Nothing is scarier than working with someone who knows more than you. But at the same time, isn’t it better that they’re on your side? And why shouldn’t you view it as an opportunity to “up” your game?

If you stay inside of your comfort zone all the time then nothing will ever change. And if nothing ever changes then you aren’t changing either. Getting yourself from Point A to Point B means taking the first step, and following that with the second…And then the 10,000th. Know you’re going to fall sometimes in the journey, but also knnow that you’re going to get back up. :)

The path is always unfolding – do what you love. :)