Why You Are Smarter Than You Think

The following article is partly excerpted from Jake Ducey's new book The Purpose Principles.

In 1966, a dyslexic 16-year-old boy dropped out of school. Shortly thereafter, he started a magazine for students. He had only a little bit of money to get started, so he sold advertisements in the magazine to businesses and ran the operation out of a local church.

He didn't groan about his lack of resources or qualifications. Instead of thinking about what he didn't have, he took advantage of what he did have.

Only a few years later, he started selling mail-order records to students who bought the magazine. The records started selling really well, so he built his first record store the next year.

Then, a couple of years later, he started a record label and built recording studios, which he rented out to artists.

Eventually, the first song ever recorded in his studios sold five million copies, and over the next decade the kid grew his record label by adding bands like the Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones!

Throughout the whole process, this person never stopped creating new ideas and new companies. He never gave up on his incredible vision for his life.

He has not only started an airline business and a mobile phone company, but within 50 years he has built four hundred more companies.

That kid who dropped out of school stayed focused, persistent and creative despite his "learning disabilities," "inexperience," and "lack of knowledge" -- and today he is a billionaire who has changed the way the world conducts business.

His name is Sir Richard Branson. He is the founder of the Virgin Group. He named his enterprise Virgin because he started with zero experience or qualifications in business.

Branson accomplished all of this because he didn't give in to the excuses so many of us use to explain why we can't succeed. Instead, he followed what he is famously quoted for: "Screw it. Just do it." Just take action and the way will be made for you. Just allow yourself to figure it out along the way, while on the path. You simply need to get started, to take the first steps.

In The Purpose Principles, I say that no one is qualified for anything, and you will never actually be ready. If you wish to live the highest quality of life you can, you need to go beyond fear, and the only way to do so is by trying. You need to dream big and believe in yourself -- just like Richard Branson.

You may think that you have a good reason, a rational one, as to why you aren't ready to take the next leap in your life. But no matter what that leap is, whether it's reaching out to a stranger you find attractive, starting a new company, writing a book, recording an album, building a house, going back to school, or traveling, you are never going to feel completely ready.

You are never going to have the solution for every potential failure. You're never going to know everything. And, frankly, you don't want to know everything. If you did, the fun and uncertainty would be taken out of life. The freedom you feel from the excitement of not knowing would be gone. So just get going and figure it out on the fly.

You may have excuses that want to hold you back from making your dreams a reality, but you can still do it, you can still help people, and you can still find your purpose. You can still be successful and make a living doing what you love, despite not feeling qualified enough.

One could argue that Branson isn't qualified for what he's doing with his life, but it doesn't matter -- he's doing it. Belief in yourself is enough to get you beyond your excuses. Don't think rationally about any of this. Don't try to justify why you're not ready to take that step in your life. You'll never feel ready enough. Just start now.