Although Bastiaan Slot and Kendall Fontenot might not appear to have much in common at first glance, they have very similar stories. Bastiaan Slot was barely making ends meet, stocking shelves at a discount grocer. Studying for a management training program led him to the creation of his highly successful coaching business. Kendall Fontenot is the proprietor of the largest minority-owned BHPH car dealership in Louisiana. He achieved his goal of financial freedom ahead of schedule, having started his entrepreneurial journey at the age of seven. Here, these two self-made entrepreneurs share some life lessons on realizing your dreams and bringing your visions to life.
“It might sound deceptively simple, but to bring your dreams to life, you need to know exactly what you want. Those who complain that they do not have the life they want often cannot provide a clear answer as to what they do want,” explains Bastiaan Slot. Kendall Fontenot adds, “In order to achieve your goals, they need to be very explicit and clearly defined. For example, if you want to open a restaurant, you need to know what kind of restaurant. If you have a passion for Italian food, there’s your answer. If you want to start a website, base that website around something you are knowledgeable and passionate about.”
Fight societal pressures.
“The world is filled with ideas and beliefs regarding what we should do, or more specifically, what society thinks a person should do,” notes Bastiaan Slot. “But the truth is all people are different. You are not bound to do what society expects from you; instead, do what is best for yourself.” Kendall Fontenot agrees and adds, “despite what many others may try to tell you, chasing a dream is not irresponsible. This is especially true of entrepreneurs who know early on they will never be able to work for anyone except themselves. In this context, how is not following your dream anything but irresponsible?”
Have a plan.
Kendall Fontenot says, “Even if you can clearly identify your passion, you might face a long and winding path to success. Countless entrepreneurs have started at other jobs before launching their business, and that’s okay. It gives you time to come up with a plan and obtain the funds you need to put your dream in motion.” Bastiaan Slot, who holds a similar view, adds, “Small steps might seem mundane, but remember the old adage, slow and steady wins the race. This also gives you an opportunity to deal with any problems that may arise and face your fears of the unknown.”
Bastiaan Slot and Kendall Fontenot faced multiple challenges over the course of their careers and overcame them with spectacular results. As these simple steps worked for both of their success stories, they are bound to work for you as well.
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