As the year comes to an end, it’s always nice to go into a contemplative mood to take stock of the journey thus far.
Here’s some of my thoughts of what being an entrepreneur means to me:
1) Always staying true
When we pivoted to a new business model, I had no clue on how to move ahead. We hit so many road blocks and all I could think about was how the business will crash. At the end of the day, we pivoted back to the original model to stay true to why we started the business. And sometimes, that’s all that matters.
2) Not knowing what to do many, many times
How can we clinch the deal? How can we make the investor buy in into our vision? How can we build an A-team? Everyone expects the entrepreneur to know-it-all, but the truth is, many times we don’t.
3) Everyone wants you to succeed (except your competitor)
Everyone becomes a cheerleader, and the support’s truly awesome. It’s just that everyone’s perspective of success is different, thus you’ll get many conflicting advice on how to bring your business forward. Still listen, but at the end of the day, listen to what your heart tells you.
4) It’s about sacrifice
Entrepreneurship is really difficult, anyone who tells you otherwise is either super lucky or lying. We didn’t (and haven’t) paid ourselves a salary for 1.5 years and it will likely be the same for you. Are you okay with that?
5) You learn way more than anyone else
Sales, marketing, finance, operations, human resources etc. Yup, all those are your roles. Maybe add in crisis management.
6) Anything can happen
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Also, anything that can go well, will exceed your wildest dreams. Your peaks and troughs are like the rollercoaster X 10.
7) You become very vulnerable
When there was conflict within the team, we talked for hours, finding out that it wasn’t about the sales figures we were upset about, the operations that was delayed or any business function for that matter. It was about how we saw the world, our interpretation of fairness, communication and trust. And the only way to really connect to another human is to break down the walls and be vulnerable.
8) You start to see yourself
You’ll start to realise what you’ve good at and what you suck at. And you’ll start to like the little quirks you have and be comfortable with who you are. It’s liberating to finally enjoy the way you are.
If you asked me if you should be an entrepreneur, I would say ‘no’. Not because I think you can’t make it, not because your idea sucks, not because it’s just too difficult. But there’s a lot of pain involved and it’s hard for me to wish this upon anyone.
But if you still continue forward, my wish for you is not to have an easy life, but to lead a life of deep meaning.
Happy new year and good luck.