Entrepreneurship is one bumpy road, don’t be fooled
As much as I would love to say that being an entrepreneur is smooth sailing, I know that I would not be telling the full story.
I’ve had some astronomical wins over the years, but in fairness, I have had just as many failures.
While age has helped in the decision making process, because I have learned mostly from my mistakes, it hasn’t fixed some habits I would really like to change.
What I have learned in the past few weeks is that I am the external optimist. I believe wholeheartedly that at the end of the day, every will work out just fine. I’m one of the lucky one’s.
Except, I am not.
I’m simply one resilient human being that somehow can get knocked over the head over and over again, and yet wake up the next morning as if nothing has happened.
We all “sell” this beautiful story of how amazing life is, and how great everything in our life is turning out to be. While at times we may have a great celebration, a trip of a lifetime or time to smell the roses, it’s those other times that really take a lot more of our energy and time.
You are just seeing a snippet, that of the social kind.
I recently caught up with a friend I have known for 30 years. She follows me on social media and feels like she is seeing me every day in one way or another.
The first thing she said to me is that she is so proud of me. That was nice, but I felt like a fraud. Imposter syndrome. There’s nothing to be proud of this week. I’ve been to hell and back and it’s not pretty.
Fortunately, my staff are so wonderful, I can’t sing their praises enough. They are hardworking, supportive and kind. It certainly takes a lot of stress out the ‘people’ equation that often gets me feeling like not getting out from under the covers.
Currently, I am in a unique position. I am a serial entrepreneur juggling multiple businesses and it’s hard to wear so many hats. It’s also hard when you spread yourself thin. But most entrepreneurs know that and have been in my shoes many times before.
The bumps in the road often come with life lessons. In the past two weeks I have learned:
- Life is never as hard as we think it is and whenever we feel overwhelmed don’t be afraid to reach out to people around you.
- Cash is king. Without cash, your business is dead. Don’t work for free, and that means if people are 90 days late in paying their bills, they are in fact expecting you to work for free. That is not acceptable.
- Procrastination is never going to make you successful. Putting everything off will just add to your to do list. Often the things we put off are the ones that need to be done first, and that don’t actually take too much time.
- A bump is just a bump. Sure it might hurt you for a minute, but that is it.
- You can ensure that there are less bumps in the road. Learn your lessons along the way and try not to repeat your same mistakes.
We are all human and sometimes as entrepreneurs we expect ourselves to be super-human. We are not. There is nothing overly extraordinary about us other than our determination to succeed and the willingness we show to stand up and be counted, taking responsibility for others.
The last few weeks may have been bumpy, but I see some smooth sailing in the future and I’m truly looking forward to that.