‘It’s for people who need to try’

5 Things I discovered by taking the leap into entrepreneurship

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“Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly. ” Bhagavad Gita (via Strand of Genius by Faris and rosie yakob )

It’s now 12 months since I resigned from a handsomely paid job at the usual agency gig, and almost 6 months since I got into entrepreneurship. So probably still early to speak of success or even results. This is the time of hustling and wondering whether you are crazy (you are) and if you could have possibly done things different (you could not).

The dream — because we must have dreams otherwise what’s the point- is to be able, one day, to manipulate your own storytelling as every successful entrepreneur does. Just like struggling artists who achieve fame and make the world believe they never had a doubt, successful entrepreneurs tell the story of their beginnings making people believe they were never afraid.

Well, I’m writing this so regardless of the outcome I will not be able to gloss over what I was feeling when I started. But I actually think it’s worth sharing with anyone considering it. Here we go:

  1. You have no choice. As said by the inspiring GapingVoid ‘this is for people who need to try’. Put simply, when you know this is something you always wanted to do then you must give yourself a chance. Being true to yourself is what makes the ride worth it. On the other hand imagining yourself in the future saying ‘I should have’ is a really grim prospect.
  2. You can finally say what you really think. You think you were a free-speaking mind when you were working for your agency/employer? Well, think again. As an adult and responsible employee (no matter how high up in the ladder you were, you ultimately were an employee) you could not have possibly been totally free of expressing your views. If freedom is high in your list of values, then entrepreneurship is your way. The only way, I’m afraid.
  3. You cannot blame anyone else. Successes and failures, teamwork, product, management.. even accounting. Your call. If it’s a good call it will work. If not, well it’s your fault. Nobody else’s. The ‘blame someone or something else’ blanket has been removed. If this is something you are considering start working on your self-belief. It might be already strong, but beware that being successful as an employee has nothing to do with being successful as an entrepreneur. It takes different skills and mindset. You will go back being a beginner in many aspects of your work. If that thrills you then this is definitively for you.
  4. You will be afraid. At regular intervals fear will sneak up on you. And what I have learnt is that you need to work hard to keep yourself motivated and focused. Anything goes: print giant inspiring quotes and surround yourself with them (check); ask fellow entrepreneurs to talk you through again why you are doing this (check); read books and stories of entrepreneurship (check); avoid ex colleagues or potential employers who will undermine your resolve to lure you into a job similar to the one you had left (check). Note: some people will need to be avoided, sad but true.
  5. Successes will be the most rewarding that you’ll ever experience. This is something I suspected but didn’t know for sure. Every single, small success you’ll earn as an entrepreneur will feel 20 times more rewarding than any success you had as an employee. It’s probably because you put so much of yourself in it, or maybe because it works as an encouragement of such a big leap of faith. But there it is, you will feel it more.

There you go, my 2 cents after 6 months. I’m sure there will be many more to come, but in the words of the great Chaim Potok :

“All Beginnings are hard. . . . And sometimes I add what I have learned on my own: “Especially a beginning that you make for yourself. That’s the hardest beginning of all.”

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