Last year, in August (precisely on the 11 August), I announced to the world, that I am transitioning to be an entrepreneur.
When I started, had a very big idea to build a Strategy Consulting firm focusing on Ideation and Business Model Validation for start-ups.
In the last one year, have done 4 in person sessions, 2 webinars and have been ideating on 3 ideas out of which 1 is development phase, 1 in ideation phase and 1 in the design phase. Well, what has been my learnings in the last 1 year? Here are few of my experiences.
You will feel lonely – Like it or not, if you are coming from the corporate world where you are working in a team, you will feel very lonely to be on your own. Accept the fact you will no longer have people around you to have a chat, share your experiences, catch up for a lunch/coffee or going out on team outings.
During this time, your Facebook timeline will be filled with more travel check-ins and pictures of fun times at work. Read this as a test for your commitment 🙂
How I handled it, I reduced my FB time. I only browse through the page once in a day and don’t go back to it. Fortunately, there will be one person in your network who will post a motivational quote and that will help you come back to track.
Self-doubt – You will have this each day. Am I in the correct path, am I doing things right? Should I get back to a job? These questions will come to you each day and especially when you look around and people are busy in their lives and when you have a lot more time to ponder about.
STOP self-doubting. Your heart will tell you if you are in the right direction or not. All you have to do is be conscious of what your heart is telling you. If you are not being comfortable with something, then you need to change something. Think of new ways. There are various tools and techniques on the internet, find something which will help you focus. For instance, I used BusinessModelYou, a toolbox for evaluating yourself.
Days are much longer than you thought – When we are in a job, our outlook calendar drives our day. But, when we are on our own, we drive our calendar. There is a lot of difference in this. In a job, you are driven by what the company needs, but when you are an Entrepreneur, you drive what the company needs.
You will be in control of your day. You plan your meetings and you plan what you will need to accomplish over the course of time. Since the time is in your hands, you will feel that the days are longer than you actually thought.
Health improves – Knowingly or unknowingly we take a lot of stress when we are in a job. There are exceptions, I know people who handle stress amazingly well and never let it affect their health. Being an Entrepreneur it is much more stressful than you ever think – Social pressures, responsibilities at home etc take a toll on you. But, if you leave these aside, then life becomes more beautiful.
Meditate – You must have heard this everywhere, but I will put in a simple line. Don’t get carried away with all the jargons you hear, but just focus on one thing – Sit down for ten minutes each day at a said time and just focus on your breathing. That’s all. The key here is the time, stick to a time schedule. If you want to do at 7 in the morning, ensure each day you automatically sit down at 7 for ten minutes, where ever you are in this world.
Accept and Focus – You will see down times more regularly during the start-up phase. Each day will be a roller coaster. Accept it. It’s ok to feel low and depressed. Watch a cartoon movie or an inspirational movie or speech, it will help you regain your confidence.
Find a life coach – If you need to work on building on your strengths and transform the power of your thoughts to reality and you need a little help, find a Life coach. Remember the movie, Dear Zindagi? How does Alia Bhat find herself? Through her coach Shahrukh. I, fortunately, watched this movie after I took life and professional coaching. It made a lot of sense and in fact, I went back to another coach to help me fine tune my learnings. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It will change your life.
PS: If you are reading this post and want to know my experiences, don’t hesitate to shout out to me.
Of all the above, before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, spend time thinking, find your favorite place – a park, coffee shop, a religious place, an ashram or a relaxing center and just think of what you wish to accomplish. Accomplishment here is not money, Yes, all of us want to be rich, but remember, this is a by-product of what you are going to do. So, don’t focus on money, focus on what you want to change or make an impact or remembered for. This is the key. When you begin, the plan will be labyrinth or you might not see anything for tomorrow. Focus on what you want to accomplish and over a period of time things will start falling in place. All you need is to commit to what you want to accomplish.
If it helps, The arc of ambition will give you a very good sense of direction and motivation. This is my bible.
Good luck, more experiences to come…