I have been an entrepreneur for over 2 years now and the journey so far has been no ordinary. Life as an entrepreneur is a complete transformation for any individual. One end of the spectrum, you enjoy creating your own destiny, the rules of the game, and work hard with a lot of passion. The other end of the spectrum, well is not so positive.
You have to counter a lot of strong emotions: anxiety, fear, regret, resentment and the list goes on. All from nowhere, your finances do not look good. A lot of necessary expenses you used to incur prior to this journey start looking as a burden, and luxury. You put down a lot of these and start to play the compromising game: be it a family vacation to purchase a new car. Your commitment is to prove your decision right - at least to the community of friends and your family.
It is a coincidence, that my professional work involves working with a lot of entrepreneurs, young startup founders in particular. I have been helping them mitigate the risks in their business that falls within the scope of my domain. During this process, I have a lot of conversations with them on their entrepreneurial journey, their aspirations and commitment to their enterprise. have observed that there are a few common sets of reasons that they struggle:
Hold on to the passion that ignited the entrepreneurial journey, and the commitment to themselves when this journey started.
These observations are not supported by hard data, but I could relate them with my own life.
The biggest source of strength for any entrepreneur is “Passion”. Despite. A lot of challenges, ups, and downs, if we are not passionate about our work, we are going to be despondent. With the backdrop of various circumstances, I could not connect back with the same passion that seemed to be non-negotiable at the start of my journey. At times, my passion was no longer the source of inspiration for me becoming an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship is a lot of “Commitment” - For yourself, your families, employees and the community. Your level of commitment increases significantly as a founder. When things were down, I found entangled in a vicious circle, not keeping up my commitment, focus and motivation levels. We individuals become vulnerable when faced with challenges and unknowingly we break our commitments.
It is a fact when you take on some commitment, there will always be failures. We often feel despair because we are losing out on what we have committed; for ourselves, and people around us. When things become very miserable, it will look to us as a failure. We look for comfort by relating this failure to external circumstances, blame the context, evaluate and judge others. I realised in my own case, I was unwilling to accept this failure for myself.
When your past experiences and perceptions dominate you, we operate with fear, blame people, circumstances and stop taking any actions. I was operating in this domain until I got present and realised that dealing with this requires a new way of being. Thanks to a lot of coaching, I started creating a new look at the context, and try to empower the setting rather than getting stuck to failures and setbacks. I realised that we can create a powerful context - a frame to work by not operating from our past.
All the things that occurred to me as failures, were, in fact, my own interpretation, and not a fact. We have the power to reshape the circumstances and create a new possibility. The conditions and circumstances will never be perfect. But in standing from this new possibility, I am able to operate with a lot of courage and reconnect with the bold commitment and passion, I set out at the start of my journey. I am convinced that a true and a sustainable solution can only come inside-out; when a shift in thinking and change in perceptions takes place within ourselves, we come to understand that and have more control over our lives. We become proactive, action-oriented and always on the lookout to seize new opportunities.
This composition is not to highlight the summary of the struggle and challenges faced by first-time entrepreneurs like me. It is about the inspiration I find myself with every single day: The factor that keeps me moving, despite challenges.