Entrepreneurial Demons

I came across an article on Thrive Global entitled Do I need to be an entrepreneur? by Akasha Rose Indream. My initial reaction was somewhat defensive I don’t need to be an entrepreneur I want to be one.

Indream’s article abounds with pertinent questions – Do you tie your identity to being an entrepreneur? Does failing at your start-up mean you’re no longer an entrepreneur? Is there anything left worth disrupting?

When it comes to the reality of entrepreneurship worrying about money and the future, along with fear of failure seem to be the common threads even on a good day. As entrepreneurs we breathe uncertainty; will the client like this, did my marketing campaign hit the mark, will this generate new customers, should I take the weekend off?

Tasks once a source of pleasure too easily move to the ‘must-do list’ – writing has to be turned into copy, posts and proposals, social media platforms have an end game and your business needs to be fed, burped, changed and nurtured like a child. And where is that passion and enthusiasm that got the whole enterprise off the ground to begin with?

Her interview with Altcoin Fantasy founder Cynthia Huang; is fraught with even more reflection about entrepreneurship. What happens when an entrepreneur fails? Is there a life after being an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are all too familiar with this self-interrogation.  Realistically though we know some of these worries never become a reality or will eventually work themselves out.

The article also quotes entrepreneur, Tom Kuegler who serves up fewer questions but a lot of gritty truths;

“Entrepreneurship culture is so quick to glamorize this lifestyle. The custom hours, the Bali life — but nobody talks about the significant financial risks, the burnout, the overworking.”

“This game is not for the faint of heart.”

The article provides a lot to contemplate but Akasha Rose Indream does a good job in providing some perspective. What stood out and helps me be a relatively ‘sane’ entrepreneur is mindfulness. When we concentrate on one task at a time and limit distractions,  the mental noise, fears and feeling of being overwhelmed subside. Even stepping away from the work to make coffee or take a break if done consciously is beneficial.

She also uses ‘being in the moment’ in the context of asking ‘What does the customer need now, and why?” Going on to explain – ‘The blossoming of the entrepreneur has to be matched to the blossoming of the customer.” Wise words indeed because whether we provide service to client or product to customer this is the mainstay of what we are in business for.

With my initial dislike of the title vanquished, Indream got me thinking (and writing). We all struggle with the assorted demons that accompany entrepreneurship;  our success comes from separating what we can control from the improbable.

My response to the ‘Do I need to be an entrepreneur?’ remains “yes” because the bad moments are usually followed by a heartfelt thank you from a client, a new project based on a referral or a feeling of exhilaration as I grow my business. Each day will continue to bring challenges, fears and that ‘hamster wheel’ noted by Kuegler as one hustles to keep financially viable but for the now I’m good with all that.

Finally, if you do close your start-up or business I hope you put entrepreneur or founder on your resume or online profile. Be proud that you once took the leap and it may not seem like it now but you are better for it.

Do I need to be an entrepreneur? By Akasha Rose Indream – Holistic Branding Consultant, Founder at Strategygoto.com

Entrepreneurship Sucks, Are You Ready For That? By Tom Kuegler – Vlogger, Entrepreneur, Blogger on Medium

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