I’ve never been one to beg others to stop flogging a dead horse since, quite frankly, I have no qualms about what others think. That’s right, I simply don’t care. My close family and friends can tell you that. I consider a large part of my every day life private (and it will remain that way), which is why you may have noticed that I also don’t frequently post on social media, but if people are nonetheless going to beat a dead horse with a stick, I might as well make a revelation or two so you can get a brief update directly from the horse’s mouth.
Now, in case you, too, think I’ve been horsing around all year, just hold your horses for a minute. The truth of the matter is that 2013 was actually one of my most productive years in a long time, and I’m not just saying this as a stalking horse to undermine any of my past successes or failures.
As soon as the year kicked off, I went straight to work. Among all my live events, business trips and joint ventures, I had intended to give an update when I launched a new Internet Marketing training program, conducted my first workshop of the year, or made my first big investment towards businesses, properties and other luxury goods. However, because I’ve had my share of backing the wrong horse in the past with unsuccessful projects, I didn’t want to run before my horse to the market and jinx it all by making announcements too soon, if at all.
Don’t get me wrong; I love what I do. Wild horses can’t drag me away from my passion for the Internet lifestyle and teaching others to do the same. To me, 2013 was an extremely successful year while being able to enjoy the exact kind of world I’ve always wanted to live in – a one horse town. With the exception of occasional business trips and live events, my official work weeks consisted of only one day, four to five hours each time.
Yep, I’m strong as a horse and have taken back control of my life for a while now. During my free time, I enjoyed personal travels, hanging out with friends, socializing online and offline, hitting the gym every now and then, not to mention exploring new food and eating like a horse! Sometimes, I feel like a horse that’s been put out to pasture because there was just no work to do, although I can’t say I didn’t like it. Life was carefree, relaxing and good.
Despite the blessing to run one of the most ideal lifestyle businesses in the world, it felt busy to me. I suppose it’s true that every horse thinks its own pack is the heaviest because even when new opportunities came along, I didn’t want to add any additional workload on my plate and had my own restrictions on what I wanted to do or felt I should be doing. Horses for courses, right? I was quite adamant about what projects I wanted to take on and with which partners, so a nod was as good as a wink to a blind horse since I had my own way of thinking and doing things.
Then, towards the end of the year, a series of unexpected turn of events took place which completely altered my way of thinking. One thing led to another, and it quickly became clear that something had to give, because it turns out that there are people, not just family, but also close friends, students and associates, who are dependent on me and my involvement in projects. As I didn’t want to close the stable door after the horse had bolted, I knew I must change my trade of thoughts in order to create a future I would not live to regret. At which point, I woke up and realized that it’s no good climbing on my high horse about things I cannot control. Judging people and opportunities simply limits my growth.
After spending the last few months off to enjoy a long Holiday season with close family and friends, I had some time to think and plan how I want my life to be this year. Looking back at some of the opportunities I’ve let go in the past because they did not apply to my lifestyle is a great lesson to determine how I want to choose my opportunities moving forward. The fact of the matter is that if two ride on a horse, one must ride behind. Nothing will ever be perfect and there really is no use fighting for power because then, everybody loses. 100 percent of nothing will always be nothing.
Everyone who knows me knows that I’d always prefer a life of relaxation, but given my epiphany just in time for the New Year, I might just have to push aside all lazy thoughts for now and kick off the Year of the Horse working like a horse. Don’t worry, it’s not as dreadful as it sounds, as I would definitely be working on projects that I enjoy with friends I enjoy working with. My only concern is putting the cart before the horses in all my projects since I’m so over-ambitious in getting many things done at the same time.
Thankfully, my entrepreneurship experience has taught me that there will always be concerns and it is neither possible nor reasonable to predict all the problems that may arise along the way. It most certainly cannot be used as an excuse to not do something, as it is much more important to get projects up and running first. As I preach to all my students and clients, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to drink. I’ve led thousands to the water well of freedom, but only those with the will and determination take that drink.
Today, I’m here to let you know that I, too, have not always taken the drink offered to me. What I have learned is that looking a gift horse in the mouth will lead you to nowhere that you haven’t already been. It’s okay to have standards and guidelines because, after all, there’s no use changing horses midstream as a result of working on projects you don’t believe in. However, if a proven successful model comes your way and you reject it, it could be the biggest mistake you make as an entrepreneur.
Life is not horseplay, and the world is not a one horse race. There are plenty of opportunities out there waiting for you and me, but things don’t just happen simply by wishing. If wishes were horses, all the beggars in the world would ride them. You must make them happen, and I am more than happy to make anything happen together with you if we can agree on a mutually beneficial venture.
And guess what? There is no better time than now, in the Year of the Horse, to make things happen for you and your family. Horse sense tells me this year has the potential to be our best year yet. And since it has already begun, I better get on my horse right away and highly recommend that you don’t spare the horses, either. Time is a limited commodity we cannot afford to waste.
To all my Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Mongolian and Tibetan friends all around the world – Happy Lunar New Year of the Horse! (Yes, it is the Year of the Horse, in case you haven’t figured it with all the clever horse idioms in this blog post. :P And yes, Nicole Mullen, we “Chineses” are celebrating New Year a month after January 1st and it will go on for 15 days!) Regardless of culture, religion, nationality and ethnical background – Have yourself a joyous, healthy and prosperous 2014!