If you can imagine Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies where he has to cross the rickety bridge where alligators are below and the bridge is one rope from falling — The objective is to get to the other side in order to be safe, or in the entrepreneur’s case – to avoid failure (the abyss) and reach solid ground (success).
Much is the same in the case of the entrepreneur, as there are many rickety bridges and alligators in the world of the entrepreneur that you want to avoid at all costs so you do not enter into the entrepreneur’s abyss…
There are people who will deter and misguide the entrepreneur. Unfortunately, this quite often comes by way of the ones we are closest to, like friends and family. Truth is, unless you are an entrepreneur, it is nearly impossible to understand the entrepreneur’s mindset. I read a quote that pretty much sums it up,
“Entrepreneur’s are the only people that work 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40.”
If that seems backward and the opposite of what a sane person would think, then I am guessing you are not an entrepreneur! If you ask an entrepreneur, why that 80 hours is time well spent – my answer (like most entrepreneurs) would be because it is time spent on ME. My dream. My life… as opposed to someone else’s.
To those who don’t get this concept, there is another great saying that sums it up quite nicely… “To those who are not one of us, no explanation is possible, and, for those who are amongst us, no explanation is necessary.”
When you own a business or if you’re a startup, you are both at the mercy of your company for all the bad that comes your way, but also you’re the recipient of its blessings. If you aren’t willing to accept that, then you should question whether to delve in to the world of the entrepreneur.
So what are the biggest challenges and obstacles that face entrepreneurs in crossing this amazing abyss? Let’s take a look…
Ahh Shucks, Little Ole Me
I’m always amazed at how we can look and see other people accomplishing their dreams and achieving success, but we can’t or won’t believe that we can do it ourselves. It’s like we are tainted that we are not smart enough or tough enough to do what we see other people do.
This seems to get even worse as we get older. I remember being a kid and wanting to do everything I saw my friends doing — even those death defying homemade bike ramps I used to jump — over trash cans none-the-less. To be a successful entrepreneur, you must follow the same mantra you did when you were a kid, “If I can thinketh, I can doeth.” You must do everything possible to not let doubt enter your mind as the moment it creeps in it is like a poison that makes your path insurmountable. It is that element of doubt that will send you off the ramp sideways and onto your ass.
As mentioned earlier, pressure from our peers, family and friends can be challenging, as our path does not align us with the direction of the norm. Going against it is tiring and not as rewarding initially as going with the flow.
Do not let what others say you cannot do, prevent you from achieving what you know you can.
The “Friday The 13th” Effect
Fear of failing is another major obstacle because it is an internal switch that we turn on when we believe the pain that we will endure in trying to accomplish something is just too much to even fathom. It is only when we are able to look at the benefits of success and achieving our goals that we are able to look at look at our past failures as a natural part of the entrepreneurial landscape.
There are certain things we can all be justifiably scared of… a wild animal on the loose, walking down an abandoned street in the middle of the night, or even walking through the woods by ourselves. Not taking action towards our dreams, however, is not justifiable. It is an unwarranted manifestation of fear. It is as though we put Jason, from the popular horror film, Friday the 13th between us and our dreams and, last time I checked, Friday the 13th was fiction and not many people have been axe murdered on their paths to achieving their dreams – In most cases, it is a simple matter of getting in the way of your own success by being afraid of something or someone that does not exist (fear!)
Comfort: Treat It Before It Gets Worse
I liken comfort to a disease in that comfort left untreated will use your being as a host to feed on and eventually destroy you. Like most things that do bodily harm, comfort gets worse the longer you allow it to exist. The best way to disrupt its course is to change your perspective and drive it off a cliff.
It becomes harder and harder to rid yourself of this self inflicted way of life if you don’t make a decision to attack it head on. I certainly have felt victim to it, and it was difficult to consistently challenge it on a daily basis. One day at a time, one week at a time, is the only antibiotic that will wipe it out.
Comfort is the exact opposite of progression and will allow you to accept what you have today for the rest of your life.
Would You Ever Hit Yourself In The Face?
Of course you wouldn’t! So, what do we need to do to avoid the challenges of maneuvering this abyss? Here are four actions think about:
1.Utilize the naysayers’ comments as fuel for you to go beyond their limited outlook on possibilities. Remember, a naysayer speaks from his or her perspective, not yours and they become fans and clients once you succeed and achieve what you have set out to accomplish.
1 – Have faith in yourself and know that challenges and failures are your classrooms for learning and eventually succeeding at your business.
2 – Fear is like the boogey man (or Jason), it only exists in your mind. Learn to embrace it, so you can achieve the success breakthroughs you need to gain more confidence as you go along.
3 – Don’t get comfortable! Do the “Rocking Chair” technique – imagine where you want to be three years from now and make sure you are doing the things necessary today to get there.
I hope this has been helpful and look forward to your success!
Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Humble!