The entrepreneur’s journey is not easy, but it is rewarding.
The saying is, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” The journey of an entrepreneur, on the other hand, is a thousand first steps, and falling backwards, and moving forward again.
There are many things that determine whether a person will achieve the goal that he has set for himself.
Let’s look at some of them and some of the lies that we have to overcome in our journey.
We have all heard of get-rich-quick schemes, and we have all probably fallen for 1 or more of them. It’s human nature. We want to achieve the goal without the hard work, the sacrifice or the time investment it takes to go from zero to 100. But we have to understand that it takes time for an acorn to grow into an oak tree.
All successful entrepreneurs, athletes, anyone that is elite in their field has given up something else to develop the skills and mastery in order to excel in their chosen field. There is a supposed rule of 10,000 hours it takes to develop mastery. 10,000 hours! If you worked 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 50 weeks (that is a normal 40 hour work week with 2 weeks of vacation, typical in the US) – that is only 2000 hours. You would have to work 5 years to get 10,000 hours! And be honest! No one really works for 8 hours – you take breaks, walk around the office, move one pile of paper to another pile, send meaningless emails back and forth, watch cat videos – you know you don’t work 8 hours a day!
We have to be willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed.
Use what’s already available to you and don’t complain about what you don’t have.
It takes money to make money – I don’t have the money to make money. This is another adage, and a complaint people have because they intrinsically understand this reality. If I don’t have money to start with, how can I make more money, since it takes money to make money, I’m never going to be able to make money unless I inherit a bunch of cash or win the lottery!
But you can start with what you have in your hand. What do you have available to you? Can you type something for someone who can’t type as fast as you? Hire yourself out and make a little extra cash. Are you able to post engaging things on your IG page to make your friends laugh and react? Maybe help the local business that doesn’t have a social media presence get the word out about their products – make a little extra cash!
What are the skills that you have? What do you know how to do? Are you a great listener? Invest $100 and learn how to be a life coach! Use what you have if you don’t have money – to make money!
Learn from POWs.
Studies of prisoners of war – those who survived, and those who didn’t – give us an understanding of what kind of mindsets help people to survive unfathomable odds.
POWs that showed resilience, hope, humor, connectedness to others around them, and refused to see themselves as victims.
Why am I comparing entrepreneurs to POWs? Have we been invaded and taken captive by an enemy intent on torturing us? Sometimes it can feel like it. LOL. The journey of an entrepreneur has a lot of ups and downs, can be very scary, daunting and really beat up your morale.
Don’t be a victim
But don’t blame anyone else – you chose to do this! Take responsibility for your choices. You decided to be your own boss. Remember to see humor and the silver lining in the everyday things: “Oh, my website hosting service is down… c’est la vie.” “Oh that product I sold was a piece of junk – all the customers are requesting money back – oh well, good lesson learned, I’ll never use that vendor again.”
Make sure you stay connected to your family and support system. Be willing to be flexible to meet their needs as well as your own goals. It’s not a great scenario when you end up with money, but your family has left you because you were such a greedy Scrooge and a miser and you never considered anyone but your own self.
Resilience and hope
Resilience is one of the most important things as an entrepreneur, because you will fail, fail and fail again. Having hope that you can achieve, that all these failures are, as Edison said, you learning the 1000 ways that it will not work, will allow you to keep going. You can get knocked down, but only the strong will get back up again.
The entrepreneur’s journey.
Too many people start the journey and fail, they don’t continue because they don’t think that failure is part of the journey. Watch how a baby learns to walk – they fall a million times! They don’t let the fall keep them from trying again. Falling is part of the journey in learning to walk. Failing and making mistakes if part of the journey to success.
Remember to keep your expectations realistic, use what’s available, take responsibility for your choices, make sure you stay connected to your community and family, and maintain resilience and hope.
Remember the journey is 1000 miles, not 1 mile, and don’t get discouraged that you will fall down. Happy entrepreneurial journey to you – and I hope to see you across the finish line!