"The best things in life are free", so the saying goes. Maybe.
In reality, most things come with a price tag –- and, quite often, more than mere money is involved. This is particularly so of activities providing great satisfaction.
For example, to enjoy the many blessings of a happy marriage, the price both partners pay is to become a little less selfish.
If we want to experience the joy of raising a family, we must be prepared to forgo the sleepless nights; first when they are born and about fifteen years later, when they should have been home hours ago!
After marriage and a family, probably the next most satisfying activity is the warm sense of achievement gained from creating your very own thriving business.
Never has there been a better time to set up a business from home with minimal capital, minimal overheads and no staff. Yet, it is possible –- within months -– to provide a very welcome extra income and, a short while later, be expanded to match your earnings from a regular job.
Then, later, after you've given your boss the pink slip, how much you make is up to you. The sky is literally the limit.
But the price to be paid for the status and financial security of your own successful business is manifold. Prime among these is what separates those forever doomed to walk the job treadmill from those who will soar with the eagles.
It's simply this: when you start, you have to defer pleasure, whilst you lay the foundations and build the structure of your fledgling business. It involves no money, yet it's a price few are prepared to pay.
But, if you are prepared to step up to the plate, you'll be head and shoulders above your work mates.
So, whilst others are arriving home from work, eager for an evening of fun and relaxation, you're facing the prospect of more hours of work on your fledgling business. And your weekends belong to your new business, too.
And there's the rub: at that stage, you cannot be sure your extramural work will ever be rewarded.
That's when the doubts creep in.
Perhaps you're a mug, chasing an impossible dream. Why not be content with your lot? After all, you've got a good job and manage to "get by". And there's that raise the boss promised you in the fall, so why not join the boys down at the bowling alley, after all?
This is the hard part.
It's not raising the capital, or getting the ideas –- or even getting the customers. All that pales into insignificance, compared with the titanic tussle going on in your head, right now.
But you do have one advantage. You are entirely in control of this conversation.
So here's the solution.
Flood your mind with vivid images of the exhilaration you'll experience, when that very first order for your new business arrives. Feel the electrifying joy! Imagine the look of amazement –- even envy –- on the faces of the "guys at the bowling alley", when your business takes off and you drive by in your gleaming, brand new, top of the range, Mercedes Benz.
They frittered their time away, watching TV and relaxing. So the only explanation they'll find for your astonishing success is either you've won the lottery or are just plain "lucky".
But you and I will know differently, won't we?
Copyright Paul Hooper-Kelly 2005