Entrepreneurship Is Hard
Entrepreneurship is not easy. I know this may sound like a cliché, but creating a successful, sustainable business is hard. We have a tendency to romanticize things. We like to tell stories and we focus on the good bits, the entertainment. But it’s important that all potential entrepreneurs acknowledge and accept this truth about the difficulty of the journey. It can be arduous. It demands sacrifice. Yes, the payoff can be great, financially and spiritually, but there is no avoiding the process of getting there. The likelihood that you will end up with a billion-dollar enterprise is not high. Most of the time, the reward is the process itself — and the lessons learned through that process. The journey can lead to a deeper understanding of who you are and what is most important to you. Quite often, what you start out seeking turns out to be very different from what you find and discover you actually want.
I recently read an article about the biggest regrets many billionaires shared. Not being more present in the moment was one such regret. When you are trying to create a vision of the future, it can be difficult to fully partake in the present moment. It often comes late, this realization that you miss out on the fullness of life when your eyes are always focused on the horizon. Taking the time to connect with people, to say thank you, and to enjoy the beauty of your relationships and the world around you — these things are so important. Giving yourself the time and space to fully appreciate your spouse, your kids, your friends — this is vital, as you move forward on your entrepreneurial journey.
To bring about the kind of awareness that helps you understand this lesson now, as opposed to late in your career, with the benefit of hindsight, you need to actively reflect on your priorities. Cheap-and-easy ego energy has a way of blinding us in the moment. We tend to follow that energy and avoid pursuing the necessary self-knowledge. Some people refer to this kind of self-knowing, this reflective state of being, as being “grounded.” And there’s a common belief that such a state results from someone else acting as a kind of mirror, as a reality-check — this person “keeps you grounded.” But to be truly grounded, you need to work at it yourself, too, putting systems in place that deepen your sense of self, initiating activities such as meditation and journaling. You need to develop your own process for staying centered.
As you pursue your entrepreneurial goals, I recommend doing the following:
1) Accept that the journey will be both difficult and rewarding, in varied, numerous ways.
2) Appreciate your blessings and never forget to say thank you to and for those people and things you love.
3) Remember what your values are and what is important to you.
4) Enjoy the moment and the overall journey.
If you can do these four things, you equip yourself to confront and overcome the challenges that are sure to emerge as move along your path. Good luck.