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.
How to recreate it?
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.