Have You Been an Entrepreneur for 40 Days?
The gurus of India often say that it takes 40 days for any practice to get established in your system. So if you start meditating, you will only understand its impact on your life if you have been committed to it for at least 40 days. Any lapse in the 40 days, and you increase the probability of not installing that habit properly into your life.
I’m a reflection of what is often referred to as the ‘revolving door’ culture in the professional world. I started my career with a job… After a few years, I got out to become an entrepreneur — succeeded at times, failed at times… I then returned to the workforce for a brief stint of two plus years, and now I’m back to being an entrepreneur.
And yes, I’ve just completed my first 40 days of being an entrepreneur. These 40 days have been tough… I initially applied for jobs and work assignments at the same time. I thought I should keep both options open. I interviewed with a few companies, but eventually got disillusioned with the work culture they perpetuated… The reasons why I left the workforce only became clearer.
Soon I changed my script… I started approaching the same companies with a proposal to be a consultant instead. This arrangement seemed to work better for some organisations — they don’t have to pay you a fat salary and you don’t have to be their slave from 9–5 (or 9–8 in some cases)…a win-win for all.
But, during this process, I realised one thing: No matter how much experience you have, and no matter how large a body of work you have built, every time you talk to a new company or a new client, you have to prove yourself all over again.
Being a writer, my work is all over the internet, and I have plenty of ready samples to show…. Still, each time, I’m asked to do a new sample piece of writing. And I’m not complaining…because I realize that when you take the brave step of starting all over again that’s exactly what it takes, the guts to start from ground zero…to prove yourself on the very basics of your expertise.
The reason for this is largely because you are now building a new set of relationships, and working with people who are not familiar with your work ethic.
I recently met a potential client, a highly established entrepreneur in his own right, who questioned if I really did feel all the struggles of an entrepreneur. He asked me if I could write about entrepreneurship with the same sharpness and depth like seasoned entrepreneurs…considering I had just left the workforce.
Well, to him I’d like to say, the fact that I can start all over again is a reflection of my entrepreneurial spirit… I’m not afraid to try once again, and I’m not afraid to fail once again.
And now that I have completed my first 40 days of being an entrepreneur, I can safely say the seeds of entrepreneurship have been planted too… The same feelings of uncertainty — emotional and financial, the same feelings of apprehension before you start a new project with a new client, and the same sense of liberation and responsibility that comes from knowing that you alone are responsible for your next success.
I’m happy to have got the chance to start all over again, and I’m happy I’ve survived the first 40 days of being an entrepreneur… I don’t know what the coming days, months or years hold in store, and where my career will take me next, but for now I am definitely an entrepreneur!