I learned a lot during my trip to Cambodia. You see, I always considered myself to be lucky, but my experiences in that country reaffirmed my beliefs.

By virtue, most businesses strive to continuously grow at the expense of others. This is a sad fact of life in the world of business and something that isn’t easy to balance.

It doesn’t have to be that way

Entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be a zero-sum game. Many believe that in order to create, you must destroy.

I don’t believe this at all.

This is what I believe. If you want to make it as an entrepreneur in North America, you need to accept these three things:

  1. You won the life lottery being born here.
  2. Entrepreneurship is about giving back
  3. Accept who you are

Sure, you can twist these around to mean different things, but I believe these three things are very important to understand.

  1. The Life Lottery

There was something very eye opening about my trip to Cambodia. I saw children younger than my own working hard to earn a small wage, elderly people selling goods to make extra money, and families that still managed to scrape by despite having nothing.

Here’s the deal.

We truly won the life lottery. I get it, we have problems here too, life is expensive, but we were born in a land with infinite opportunity.

Look at me, I had a troubled past that I’m not proud of, but now I own a massive web development and design company that has over four physical locations.

Would you believe me if I told you that I ran away from home at 12, stole from people’s cars just to eat, and have been in trouble with the law on numerous occasions?

I’d hate to think what would have happened to be had I acted like this in a third world country. Still, I was lucky enough to be born in Toronto and by the time I got my act together, I was able to settle down and build an extremely successful company.

The life lottery matters and you have to accept the fact that you have advantages that people in other countries can only dream of.

  1. The Art of Giving Back

Business is more than just generating profits.

We all like money, but at the end of the day, you can’t take your money to the grave with you.

The most successful entrepreneurs learn how to give back, not because it has tax advantages, but because they care about other people and want to improve their lives.

Here’s the way I see it…

If you were lucky enough to have been born here and have climbed the social and financial ladder, it is your duty to share the love. That doesn’t mean you have to put yourself in a bad spot to do it, but try and make a difference and make this world a better place.

Whether you volunteer, take part in charitable events, or travel to the third world and help strangers, charity is something we should all take pride in.

Entrepreneurs share the love

I’m not going to tell you how to live your life. Like I said, I am far from the perfect human being. If I can at least offer you some advice, I would encourage you to experience life to the fullest and to do your best to be a good person and to share those values with other people.

The entrepreneurial grind isn’t easy and you’ll find yourself up against the wall more than once. Always remember your roots, who you truly are, and work hard to always be the best person you can be.

  1. Accept Your Strengths and Weaknesses

No one is perfect. Anyobdy who tries to act like the perfect human being is hiding something. We are flawed creatures by design and everyone makes mistakes.

You have to accept that you have strengths and weaknesses if you want to make it as an entrepreneur.

I’m not proud of my past either.

But guess what, it made me who I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing. We don’t get to change the past, no matter how hard we try.

So, here’s what you need to do…

You have to work hard to make a better future. This means working harder on your business, taking more sales calls, chasing more leads, and giving back more to the people who need it most.

We are who we are, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Your mistakes are like an education

Seriously. Learn from your mistakes and treat them like an education. Did you make a bad purchase that put your business in a bad spot? Analyze your failures and learn from them.

  1. Never Give Up

Whatever you decide, never give up. Accept that you won the life lottery, always build your character, and never stop giving back.

You are already ahead of the pack if you follow these three principles.

There are no guarantees in the world of entrepreneurship, but I can tell you from experience, the best ideas don’t always win.

You know what wins?

The individual who works the hardest, puts in the most time, and is willing to humble themselves in the pursuit of success and happiness.

Don’t give up.



Chris A. Hughes