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Bruce Lee departed our planet a long time ago, but you can’t deny the business advice he’s left us with. Interestingly, the best guidance came via a letter he wrote—to himself.
The letter read:
My Definite Chief Aim
I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.
Four years later he died, but indeed he achieved all he said he would—and then some. He was a martial artist, actor, director, martial arts instructor, poet, and philosopher. He founded Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts philosophy drawing from various combat disciplines. Lee was considered by the media to be the most influential martial artist and is credited with helping change the way Asians were presented in American films.
His destiny may have been mapped out for him. He was born November 27, 1940, at the Chinese Hospital in Chinatown, San Francisco. It was the hour and the year of the Dragon, according to Chinese zodiac. And granting to tradition, it’s a strong omen. After being in films and television, he acquired a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Bruce Lee’s Advice
Bruce Lee truly is a legend and had some very wise advice that young entrepreneurs and small business owners can take to heart.
Focus on Your Strengths
In Bruce Lee’s letter to himself, it’s apparent he believed in himself. This is key for any small business owner. Lee was hyper-focused on becoming the best in his line of work. He mastered his art, which is what we all need to do to run our businesses. You can always hire help in areas you are not good at.
You Are Limitless
Lee once stated, “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.” It is true. When you take the plunge into being self-employed, you are no longer chained to a 9 to 5 position that holds you back. Networking, meetings, and bringing new ideas to the table is such a refreshing way to live.
“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against,” stated Lee. Drama has no place in the life of a small business entrepreneur. Be amicable to tweaking a system if someone has a suggestion on how to make things better. And don’t ever forget that life happens. If someone cancels a meeting at the last minute, have compassion towards them. Someday you may be the one who must reschedule.
Lee’s greatest advice of all was about patience. He said, “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” Not everyone is going to get along with each other; that is a fact. If you fly off the handle with a client, it will elevate your blood pressure and ruin your day completely. Do your best to keep conversation at a respectable tone, even if you are in a disagreement with the other person.
Believe in Yourself
You can’t deny the power of confidence and positive visualization. When Lee stated, “You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese star in the world,” he said it with conviction.
If you believe in yourself, and keep doing your best, there is no doubt you will succeed. Why not seal the deal and write yourself a letter as Lee did?
What do you think of Bruce Lee’s advice for small business owners? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.