Letter to fellow entrepreneurs

Real talk from one entrepreneur to another — adapted from a letter written to the co-fellows of the DO School’s Connection Challenge program.

Image credit: Delwin Steven Campbell licensed under Creative Commons (Attribution) Licence

Dear fellow entrepreneur,

Here are some things that I’ve been bursting to say to you.

Well done on all your progress this year, whether personal or venture-related. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see your activities all over my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

I hope that you feel proud of your efforts and for sticking to what you said you would do earlier in the year. I hope you remember to give yourself some credit because I know that sometimes it feels like things are moving so slow, and you wished you’d put in more effort, or done things differently or maybe shouldn’t have done some things at all. I KNOW you have super high standards for yourself and high expectations of where you’d be by now but I want you to remind yourself that an unconventional path like yours is a marathon — and you’ll get to where you want to be one day. Your progress thus far is a testament to your resilience and strength.

I know sometimes you might think, “what the heck am I doing?” Or, “I’ll never get there”. But the truth is, you WILL. Maybe just not right now or even any time soon.

In the meantime, make sure you don’t overlook the little successes — no matter how small. Heck, for me, even getting up in the morning and being ready for work by 10am is a success! I hope you’re also starting to reflect on the year and, as you’re doing so, try not to be too hard on yourself. But even if you are, which is more likely the case, it’s OKAY to be disappointed and lament the fact that you’re not quite there yet. You’re only human — that is, a human with extreme type A personality. That’s something which fuels you and the thing that will drive you to succeed. YOUR definition of success is much harder to achieve, naturally. You’re trying to change the world. Sometimes you might think, “arghhhh, why can’t I just simplify what I’m doing and then do it and get a lot of traction just like [insert-startup-that’s-the-current-source-of-envy]”. Well, that’s because society’s pain points are not simple. There’s NO WAY your journey will be.

So yes, maybe you need to have a cry every once in awhile when everything is all too overwhelming. It’s fine. Just as long as you realize how privileged you are to do entrepreneurship in the first place and get the [beep] over yourself. Your self-pity only fuels the self-doubt that constantly lingers at the back of your mind like that ex-boyfriend or girlfriend from whom you never got any closure.

But I digress. Aside from reflections, it’s also the time of the year to pick yourself up and stand tall. The time of the year when you recognize the shortcomings that held you back. Be honest with yourself on what you’ve done well, and what you haven’t. Be honest with yourself about whether your venture is the BEST way with which you can humanly contribute to society, and to the world. And if it is? Then well done. That is success worth celebrating.

Dear fellow entrepreneur, I haven’t been entirely forthcoming. I say that these are words I was bursting to say to you. But, selfishly, you were merely my vehicle. These are words I wished I had the courage to say to myself. And the same words I wanted someone to say me in my moments of defeat. It’s been a tough year and I nearly lost my spark. I have realized, graciously, that the most tenuous of sparks can still nurture a flame. Please don’t take your spark for granted.

You’re doing just fine. I know this because, despite your many moments of defeat, you have all continued to fuel your flames and keep your visions for a different and better world alive. And that, out of everything, is definitely a success worth celebrating.

Lots of love,

Lucy.

Originally published on Mapmo.co

About The Author

Lucy Xie is a digital ethnographer and entrepreneur based in Auckland, New Zealand. She is currently validating a commercial model for Mapmo, a cultural insights agency. Connect with Lucy on Linkedin.

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