When Entrepreneurship Starts Feeling Like Another Job, Stop Going Against The Current

Over a year ago, I quit my job because I got inspired.

Inspired to do my own thing.

Inspired to make my own decisions.

Inspired to take control of my own career and my own life.

To no longer worry about waking up to sit through another loooong meeting, or dealing with office politics, of writing that proposal to your boss so that you can wait for him to make a decision that to you, is already clear as day.

So you finally jump ship, then realise you are in a sea of people doing the same thing: they are also just starting out and figuring out a way to get to their destination.

Then you hear a voice that says, “Come this way!”. So you start swimming that way. Then another voice says, “Nah, this way is better! It’s working for me and so many others.” So you change your course because the other voice sounded more confident. Then you hear another louder voice, and then another, and another, until you are left somewhere in the middle, about to sink and drown in confusion and bewilderment.

You realise that while you jumped ship to escape the instructions from the captain and the first mate, because you didn’t have a plan, you’ve just replaced the captain’s shouting with something else. And worse, it has multiplied tenfold. It’s even more chaotic and louder than the old ship you just jumped from.

You think your voice wasn’t being heard when you were an employee? Well, now that you’re on your own, the news is that you have to shout even louder.

Or not.

Fast forward over a year from now, you realise that in all the excitement and confusion, you find yourself not much farther than where you were before.

In fact, you might even be worse off in terms of your environmental conditions. At least the ship had shelter, it was comfortable.

Now you’re in the sea, on your own, possibly close to hypothermia, all alone. Except you find comfort that your other half, who is on board another ship nearby (he actually gets along with his captain; he’s an officer), holding some rope in his hand, ready to throw it to you to take in case you want to get back on board.

You look at the rope. It looks so tempting. Maybe your next captain won’t be so bad. You start to grudgingly swim towards the rope, and as you do so, you think about what went wrong. Why couldn’t you make it on your own and “chart your own course”?

You followed instructions, instructions that didn’t resonate with you because it’s what has always worked. Sound familiar? Do the words “company policy” still ring a bell?

It doesn’t feel great when you realise that you’ve just replaced one voice with other voices that don’t feel right to you. Sure, they have a great following, everyone else that followed them is thriving. Well, guess what? It looks a bit similar to when your boss and your co-workers seemed like they enjoy what they’re doing.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But before you start swimming toward any one voice (if you’ve already jumped ship), or if you’re just planning on jumping ship, there is one thing you need to do first: know and trust yourself, and get clear on what you really want.

What is it that YOU really want?

It doesn’t matter where you think you’re heading, because you have to trust in your gut, your instinct to take you there.

Just because it worked for others doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.

Nobody knows the answer but yourself.

Close all the tabs.

Delete all those lists, or archive it and start over.

Delete those reminders, you don’t really need them.

Your real self will remind you about the things that matter. That REALLY matter. To YOU. And not just because someone else told you that it should matter.

Start with a clean slate and get quiet.

Only by getting quiet and listening to yourself, just yourself, then things will start to make sense, and they might even start falling into place.

Stop swimming, kicking, thrashing, because none of the strokes they said is working for you. Don’t doubt yourself that you’re doing it wrong. Ask yourself what it is that feels right, then do that.

You’ll know what to do.

Maybe you should lie back and float for a second. Just stare at the sky…marvel at how blue it is, and how the clouds look like fluffy animals.

Maybe you might even need to go back on a new ship until you figure it out, learn some new skills (like building or steering a ship) until you know in your heart when the timing is right.

Or maybe give it one last shot: feel the waves and the current, see what feels right.

The current is your real self; there’s no use fighting it, you’ll just pointlessly and inevitably tire yourself out.

Find a way to go in a direction you want to go without going against the current that is your true self. Even if everyone else is going in a different direction.

You might face some storms along the way but that’s alright, you can survive them because you know in your heart that you’re listening to what feels right for you, and you trust yourself. You might even be lucky to find others that are going the same way.

Stop Fighting The Current

Listen to the voices that resonate, filter those that don’t bring you to attention and make you say, “HELL, YEAH!!!”

Don’t force or doubt yourself and wonder why you’re not saying, “HELL, YEAH!!!” to something like all the others.

Trust that when you find the right one, there’s really no other answer but YES.

Before you know it, just might be surprised to find out that by listening to yourself, you’ve ended up where you needed to be, where you always wanted to be.

Only when you stop listening to others and you start listening to yourself, entrepreneurship stops feeling like a job.

It starts feeling what you always imagined it would be, and you’re living life on your own terms. ❤

If this resonates with you and you feel like we’re on the same current, please let me know in the comments below. I’d love some company.

If you get stuck, or like me, you don’t think you know or trust yourself enough?

Start here: http://eightcorners.co/stay-hungry where I promise to share all the places where I find inspiration, and more importantly, learn more about myself. Maybe one of them can lead you to your “HELL, YEAH”.


This post was inspired by:

Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project

Derek Sivers on No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.