The most difficult lesson I have had to learn both in life and as an entrepreneur is that I am 100% in charge of what happens in my life. Yes, both good and bad, I am responsible.

At first I denied this fact. After all, I didn't have anything to do with the downturn in the economy. It wasn't my fault that the company I worked for was sold to a larger company and there were layoffs. I didn't make my wife fall in love with someone else. I didn't plan on getting in that car accident. On and on the list goes.

Then I began to understand that I had made the choices that put me in the situations I mentioned above. I chose the company to work for, I chose the woman to marry, I decided to go pick up supplies for the job when the other car hit me.

The light bulb went on and I realized that although I had not chosen the outcomes I had experienced, I had put myself in the way of those outcomes. They were all my choices, no one had put a gun to my head and forced me to do any of it.

Ah, so what to do with this new and profound wisdom? The first thing to do is to acknowledge daily that what I have and what I am experiencing in my life today is the residual outcome of thoughts and choices I have made in the past. So if I want a different future, I'd better start changing what I do; the decisions I make and actions I take today.

As the saying goes, "If you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got". Is it time to make a shift in your thoughts and actions that will take you to where you really want to go? Would now be a good time to make the decision that it's time for change? Are you ready to take full responsibility for you life and do something about it?

I hope you answered 'yes' to those questions, I know I have. No matter how far I have come in the past 20+ years of self-employment and 49+ years of life, I know there is still much to learn and plenty of room to grow. Actually, I am exited about that fact. It makes life so much more interesting and fun. No, I haven't been drinking, I really mean that! :0)

Now I'd like to share with you a few lessons I've learned over the years that have made a huge difference in my life. I suspect they will make a huge difference in yours if you take them to heart.

1. Your Inner World, Creates Your Outer World - It took me several years of hearing this phrase to fully appreciate it. What goes on inside my head most of the time is what manifests on the outside. (By the way, 'manifest' is not a magical thing, here's the definition according to Webster: "to make evident or certain by showing or displaying".) So for me, I need to pay attention to what I'm thinking and how that affects my actions. One of my favorite tools for improving my thinking is Positive Affirmations. I bet you've heard of them. Try some out for a few weeks, you'll be amazed. Another powerful tool I use is meditation. I spend time alone connecting with My Higher Self, God, my Higher Power, what ever you want to call it. You are a spiritual being, get connected.

2. Healthy Self-Esteem is Critical - I was very shy as a boy and young man, and thought I was worthless and stupid. Turns out I was wrong. If you've had negative thoughts around worthiness, intelligence, ability etc. that don't serve you, get rid of them. If someone else is telling you you're stupid, lazy or you ain't got the right stuff, don't listen, it's crap. You are incredible! I promise. You have your own personal genius and you can have or do anything you decide you want. Grab some Zig Ziglar tapes, he'll tell you that "failure is an event, not a person". Spent some time everyday listening to speakers that will build your self-esteem. Here are a few I like. Joe Rubino, Jack Canfield and Paul Scheele.

3. Work on Yourself Constantly - One of my first mentors was Jim Rohn and I always loved his saying "work at least as hard on yourself as you do on your business". Personal growth should be part of your daily routine, just like eating, bathing and brushing your teeth. Continue to educate yourself by taking classes, attending seminars and reading about how to improve your business as well as your life. There are a few resources I recommend and the SOS Bookstore you can visit at

4. Stay Humble - As you continue to grow and discover your greatness, remember to keep your ego in check. Healthy self-esteem does not mean being egotistical. I've had to learn to believe in myself and promote my skills and qualifications and at the same time understand that these qualities do not make me better than anyone. I always remember a sign I saw at a Christmas tree lot years ago that said "Christmas trees are like people, all beautiful, none perfect".

5. Ask for and Offer Help - Some one in this world will always know more than you, and you will always know more than some others. Don't be afraid to admit you need advice or help. There are plenty of experts you can learn from who are eager to share their experience with you. On the flip side, you have a lifetime of experience that you can share and there are folks out there that need your help. Find a mentor or coach that can guide you along the path you wish to follow. Start a Mastermind group and share ideas with your peers. Become a mentor and teach a child or young adult about your business or life experience. I guarantee you will learn as much as you teach.

So to answer the question "Who's in charge around here anyway", the answer is you! Decide on the life you want and go for it. Learn from your mistakes, you will continue to make them until you get the lesson attached to those mistakes. Then you will make new ones. Face your fears and move through them. Choose your thoughts carefully and keep your focus on what you want. Take appropriate action and you will soon find that you are living the life of your dreams.

Author's Bio: 

Steve O'Sullivan is a dynamic coach, speaker, teacher and author who has a passion for personal growth and helping others achieve success. He has spoken to many business associations including the ABWA and the Women’s Council of Realtors, and is currently the Chair Person of the Programs and Education committee for the Delta Chapter of the WCR. His Mission is to help thousands of people improve their lives and businesses through coaching, training and education.

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Steve has a diverse educational and occupational background. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Jose State University, a C-27 California State Contractors License and is a Licensed California Real Estate agent and Realtor®. He most recently received his e-PRO® designation as an expert in internet and technology for Real Estate and other Business.

Steve has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, and has owned a landscape construction company, a mortgage company, and currently is a Realtor® and President of SOS Impact Coaching and Training. He continues to enjoy coaching, teaching and speaking to small business owners and Solopreneurs. You can visit him at