and what they’re willing to work their ass off to get are two different things.” One of many great quotes from catoonist/author/blogger Hugh Macleod (@gapingvoid)
Dreaming for a wanna-be-entrepreneur is easy: things are doable–you’re the smartest guy in the room, people listen to you and they get it. The truth is, when you get out there in the world and start to take action, you often find out that 1) Most people think you are a moron 2) You/your product/startup is probably mediocre at best 3) People want to talk about themselves not listen to you 4) It is incredibly difficulty to persevere, keep motivated & keep momentum and, most importantly, after you’ve been doing this for some time 5) Most people still think you are a moron.
It takes a lot of commitment and flexibility to continue with whatever you have set your mind to. Hopefully, at some point you have decided to move forward (or are moving forward) with your plan. You are as they say “walking the walk”. The commitment to put your efforts into a new venture is a very big deal. It means that you have to focus on your goal and not loose sight of the end game. Keeping focus can be hard, especially when you face many obstacles both financial and motivational. If you are a resourceful person (which I am assuming as an entrepreneur you are) , the financial obstacles should be manageable.
The motivational aspects of being an entrepreneur are a different story. There will always be those that doubt your ability. These people are hard to deal with because most do not doubt because they do not wish you well but because they do not understand. Because, frankly who in their right mind chooses a path that is exponentially harder than a traditional work lifestyle. Depending on the role they play in your life, you can choose to explain and include them in your life or you can always walk away.
The biggest obstacle in motivation often comes from ourselves. It is difficult to persevere when things don’t move as quickly as possible–or not at all. Questioning yourself is ok. Realizing that you messed up is ok. Are there days when you feel overwhelmed? Take a break. Confused? Good–take time to re-focus.
Maybe you need to change your idea/product/startup. This is where the flexibility part comes in. Commitment does not negate flexibility. Commitment to a bigger vision is essential to continue down your chosen path. But as an entrepreneur you need to be able to realize that sometimes you have to adapt to a constantly changing environment…which takes a lot of effort and its freakin’ hard. That is it. Be rigid in your commitment to your bigger vision and flexible in your everyday execution.
My strengths are in product innovation, strategy, marketing and anything business. But guess what? Now I am learning to code…Is it hard? uhm yes. Am I going as quickly as I would like, no, of course not. Will I be the best coder ever. No. Nor is that my goal. The point is that I came to a cross roads where I realized that I had to make a choice. Stick with my decision: commitment to the bigger vision. At the same time realizing that I had to adapt to the reality of the situation, which was that if I wanted to execute on a product I would have to do the tech side on my own. Which is where the flexible part comes in. Yeah, its hard, but the challenge is the fun. How far are you willing to go?