I was recently reviewing some old emails and came across one special email from an entrepreneur I was mentoring at the time. He had emailed me to let me know that he was taking his “leap of faith” and would be moving full time into entrepreneurial endeavors. It was something he had been planning for over six months, but he was growing more anxious as the date drew near. His question to me and my response are below:
It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide some insight into the entrepreneurial lifestyle that would help me hit the ground running (anything to expect, avoid or seek out).
As an entrepreneur you live days in extremes. You will be tested to a degree you have never been before and you need to wake up everyday loving what you do and enjoying the journey, while continuing to work as hard as possible. You need to have passion for what you are doing. You need to have persistence to deal with the realities. You need the energy to be consistent over the long haul.
Being a leader is hard. Sustaining success as a leader is even harder. You need persistence, determination, boldness. If you give up when it gets hard, you will accomplish little, you’ll get nowhere. You will be learning on the job when people expect you to know your job and already be the expert. That means you should wake up each day with the goal of being a better person. Leading with gumption, grit, and guts.
Some things that make the transition easier are making sure you have a clearly defined plan before taking the leap.
- What do you want to accomplish in six months?
- What do you need financially to cover personal expenses and survive for six months?
- How can you build the best product? You want to strive to be in the NBA, not the NBDL. But you need to build toward that goal in six to ten week sprints.
- Tell everyone you know about what you are doing. They will support you, network for you, and give you constant feedback.
Lastly, fear is the biggest driver so embrace it, but try to find balance. Find a sense of harmony amongst the chaos before friends, family, or your own personal health become neglected. And when you find yourself working around the clock driven by the desire to just “get there” remember that the truth is that you’ll never “get there.” There is always another scenario to tackle or mountain to climb. Entrepreneurs love the grind. It’s not about the cash out. We love what we are building and delivering value so when you take your entrepreneurial “leap of faith” remember to have fun, smile and enjoy the ride.