Some of the biggest advantages and privileges being an Entrepreneur is being able to make a difference, to change lives, and being able to bring others to their best, bring their goals and dreams to a reality creating a smile in their faces. I enjoy being at a place that I can impact so many people around the world, creating them their dream lives, their dream businesses and their dream selves. For me, the best decision that I have ever taken is stopping my university lecturer post and stepping into entrepreneurship.
Although entrepreneurship has its amazing privileges in life, it doesn't come with a magic pill, or it usually is not given put on a golden plate.
Especially, as a female entrepreneur, it is quite challenging to dare to step forward when there is no guarantee that your success, except your will and word. No matter the world is developed enormously during the last few decades, it still takes a brave woman to make a voice and to choose the life that she really demands.
I consider stepping out from a stable job to entrepreneurship, where there is no guarantee promised, is one of my bravest decisions and the best decision in my life.
Life as a Non-Entrepreneur
I was a lecturer in piano music. I was also performing at concerts as a pianist. My life as a pianist was quite different than life as a founder, as an entrepreneur and as a coach. I was known as a lovely pianist. Everybody praised me for my playing, and my career was never a topic to be criticised. And no one felt threatened, because they all knew that I am not going to be a millionaire as a pianist unless I am Lang Lang.
But the little that I knew was how different could be the people around me when my real self happens to be when I find my real purpose of being in this world.
This is something that not only I have happened to go through, but I also hear this very often from my clients, and most of us all share the same journey towards success. The most important thing is how we thrive among all these challenges.
Life as an Entrepreneur
Once I had announced that I am not going to be a pianist anymore and that I am going to be a business owner, the response and reaction were surprising. Myriads of unsolicited advice, warnings, jokes and so many negative insights and this are something I never had foreseen, and this hit me with a full surprise. And one thing was very clear. I was not that lovely lady anymore.
I must say, this is a kind of mental stress that I was not prepared and that I was never told or taught. And this happened at all stages of my journey, and it is even happening in the present. The only difference now is, the way I am responding and looking at it. So I thought, I have to let you know about it, acknowledge you about it, so when you go through it, you are well-armed.
Looking back at it from where I am today, I have recognized that this type of stress (stress coming from outside) usually comes in three stages.
The first stage
When you share your plan and idea about starting a business with your family and friends at the beginning, it could be almost like the next world war. There are people to show you all your failed attempts back in the past and remind you how much you have lost, remind you of your weaknesses and all the reasons why you should stay where you are. This shook me completely at the beginning, as this was utterly surprising to me. I couldn't believe it.
These are usually not the people that had problems with you in the past, they are the people who you thought are your friends, even family. And the worst case for me was, there were people who are honestly worried about me, and were thinking if I am taking the right move. And then there were people who don’t understand what your vision is, what good you can bring to the world, and simply don’t want to know. And at the most of the times, the latter is combined with a hidden flavour of jealousy. I was sort of torn between these two.
The second stage
Once you somehow got into the business and established your world, then comes all the disconnecting. Friends may unfriend you, people may leave you, people may not find you interesting to have conversations with anymore. I had friends, whom I already was talking about my business idea at the beginning, and who seemed to be very much ok and relaxed with it. But once I actually started to earn money with my business, it was just too much for them to handle. The truth was, they never thought that I would make it, so as long as I was in the process they were comfortable. But when I am in the achievement mode, they are not comfortable with that.
The third stage
Once you really climb up in the ladder, once you start getting popular and when things are really working for you, then comes the judgmental phase. As I am writing this I actually laugh thinking about it. Isn't it such a drama? People start to ask you, why you are trying to go bigger. They may ask you "Isn't it enough now? Isn't it time to settle and relax?" Or they may try to convince you that you are selfish for focusing on creating your empire. And these people, are even not the ones that you live with, that you love, that you share a life with. These are the people who are just living outside of your world but dare to comment on your decisions.
As a businesswoman, I find these mental challenges are one of the hardest ones to face if you are not educated on how to go past them. No matter how developed the society is, no matter how much of gender equality we talk about, when it comes to wealth and money, it still takes a brave woman to press forward. When a woman rises up, there are so many questions thrown at her, so many judgments thrown at her, so many unsolicited advice given to her, which makes me wonder, if that is the same when your husband, partner or any man you know starts a business.
I have learnt throughout my journey, that one must develop the mind to be in a neutral state in front of these situations and to be a neutral observer. Every human behaviour has a positive intention behind it. The people who try to make you look smaller do that because they are insecure and feel threatened by you. Or they are simply scared. They try to achieve the security back, making you look smaller.
And I also have learnt that not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur, to run a business and to create something bigger and greater. The truth is, the majority of the population is used to do a job, receive a paycheck and to build their whole lives around this routine. There is nothing actually wrong about it. But you are someone who has a different idea about success. You are someone who discovers areas perhaps none of your family or friends have ever been to. And that is where the challenges come. When you are ready to step into the zones that no one around you has ever been, you need to have this knowledge, if not, you will be taken with a surprising storm, as it did me.
In your life, only you are responsible for yourself. No one else is responsible for your world. And you don't have to be with or listen to anybody. It is all a choice. You have the choice to select with whom you are surrounded. And indeed, there are easy choices, and there are difficult ones, but it all narrows down to a choice at the end. Choose the people who back you up, who respect you for who you are and who supports your cause, your vision, and your dreams. Once you find those people, stick with them, because no matter ups and downs come upon, they are the ones you want to stay with.
Most importantly, never ever doubt yourself. These challenges can happen at any levels of your business. At every level, there will be people aligning with you, and the ones who don't, and that is ok. You cannot control that. So always trust in yourself, believe that you are meant for bigger and greater things, even the rest of the world around you have settled for less. Believe in your most daring dreams, even if they seem crazy, different than others dream, or impossible at the moment.
In the end, it all narrows down to one. That is, NEVER GIVE UP. Storms may come on your way, there will be rainy days, there will be days where you feel like to tear your hair off. But remember one thing. Remember that you are strong, and you have a dream to achieve, a legend to create, an empire to build. Feel that unconditional love of the universe towards you. Never let anything outside dim that flame. When you look internally into that flame, that alone is enough for you to keep moving on. There are things that you can control and things that you can’t control. So why to be stuck at the things that are not in your control?
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