One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in the short period of time I’ve been in the business/entrepreneurial world can be summed up as this:

Think before you leap, but don’t let those thoughts keep you from leaping.

Often in business, we hear stories about how some big percentage of companies fail in the first few years because they didn’t plan. That’s true. Planning is important, but so is taking risks. In fact, the word entrepreneur itself means “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”

I remember when I first began venturing into the business world, trying to find my path and what I was really passionate about. Nine out of ten people would tell me that I need to do this before I start my business, and I need to do that after I start to avoid having the company fall apart, and the list goes on. Although many of them had good intentions behind their advice and insight, truth be told, the biggest impact their words on me were negative. I began to get nervous. I lost my confidence in pursuing business, and for a long time was left at a plateau of just starting up my company. I was afraid of failing. I was afraid that I’d lose years of my life working towards something that eventually fall apart, and that other people my age would be so far ahead with their lives, that I’d be the laughing stock of my entire world. I felt frozen.

It wasn’t until I came upon an epiphany, somewhat triggered by someone entering my life and reminding me of the reasons to live up to responsibilities and push hard towards my goals, that I actually broke free from the traps of my own subconscious and took my leap towards my goals. The world around me became a blur, because I was so enthralled with my dreams and ambitions that I felt that nothing could stand in my way anymore. Most importantly, I refused to let myself stand in my own way.

When I was trapped, I also wasn’t very strong in my Deen (Religion) and Imaan (Faith). This was perhaps the greatest weight holding me back from success and a positive mindset. I knew what I wanted to do, but I was too afraid of committing to it. But, as time passed, and as Allah’s blessing of that special soul that helps me find motivation to succeed and work harder came into my life, my Deen and Imaan began to grow stronger. It was at this point I realized that the path I take in my life, the rate at which I reach my success, and the happiness I acquire, will all happen when Allah deems it best for me. So, instead of worrying about timelines and about where others are in there lives, I decided to focus on the present. I focused on what made me happy, and what I hoped to do in order to succeed in this life and the Next.

The Prophet (SAW) said, “A soul will not die until it gets all of the provision that has been apportioned for it.” (Ibn Hibban)

Since then, there have definitely been ups and downs, in business and in life overall, but the lesson I have learned is that preparing and being aware of the realities of business (which are that it requires hard work, passion, and most importantly faith) is crucial to finding success and happiness. That said, it is also important to take leaps of faith, and not worry so much about the future, because as the Arabic proverb states:

“What is destined will reach you, even if it be underneath two mountains. What is not destined, will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips…”

If you’re good at something, or if you enjoy something and are passionate about it, pursue it as a career (as long as it is halal, of course). Always keep a simple mindset towards starting your business, and don’t let your thoughts or the words of others complicate things for you. Get a basic idea of what you want to do, and then just start. As you move forward with your business or project, things will come up that will make you take action and make decisions. Don’t let those overwhelm you. They’re just steps towards your success. If you make a mistake, don’t fret. Instead, learn from it, and keep pushing forward. Too much or too little of anything is dangerous, especially thinking. Just take things naturally, and follow your heart. Pray for guidance and have a positive mindset towards your success. And here’s an extra little secret of mine towards continuing when times get tough: force yourself to smile while you work. Remember, sometimes, all it requires is a little pull upwards on the corners of your lips! 😉

I know all of this may seem daunting, or perhaps you’re still running off of the adrenaline of your passion for your business idea, but know that you will succeed, Insha Allah. I’m still surviving, so you’re sure to succeed! Go catch your dreams! You can do it!