One Year in the life of an Entrepreneur
Hard work and smart work combined with long hours is a typical day of an entrepreneur. Setting far-reaching goals that can only be on the two extreme ends on the spectrum of achievement. These being either Break or Make. Pushing the acceptable limits of the human mind, out of safe zone & boundaries, leaving the entrepreneur outside the boundaries of sanity. Arguably a reason why most entrepreneurs suffer from social and communication skills.
So you have an Idea, OK, Who doesn’t have one? Ideas! everyone has one of these days and it is a good thing but the truth is ideas are worthless until you convert them into goals and objectives. One then needs to develop strategies in line with the objective(s) and outline different tactics and actionable steps that will drive progress towards those goals. The Idea stage is the sweetest spot to be, it is the beginning, It is that moment before God said “Tulkoon Valo!”.
It is the phase where nothing is at stake. It is the cheapest because it is just a dream phase. No tangible investment has gone in. This is why everyone can afford, to have a Gazillion of ideas. But since We are not God, our success requires more than the declaration “Let there be light!”
Your drive is the unquantifiable inner metric of the person, this is the main determinant of progress, Drive is fire while passion is the flame. This is the difference between the average joe with an idea and the real entrepreneur who is constantly progressing. This is the one trait and by far the most underrated trait that makes a person with an idea possesses before launching into the deep. It is the single trait that fuels the Leap of Faith, it is the single trait that makes every Zuckerberg, every Musk, every Larry Ellison, every Steve Jobs to risk it all.
Take it or leave it, Drive is everything. If you have an idea, without that drive you are no different from your neighbor, who also has tons of ideas as well. In a lifetime, everyone will have between 10,000 – 100,000 Ideas maybe more. Without drive, one continues to cycle around in the Idea land.
The Hustle begins when something is at stake. It could be your money, your family, your relationship, your reputation, your savings, your home, your sanity, your health or anything you consider a valuable currency. However, there is a good hustle and there is the bad hustle, and between them is a fine line. Most people crossed this line with the mindset “the end justifies the means”.
The hustle is everything you must do to make things work. It is everything you must do to progress. It is everything that indicates progress, it is where your emotions begin to vest, it is all forms of work you put in. It is the point where you are dying to have those little wins to show and celebrate progress, It is the 500 meetings and request you sent out to potential partners, clients, investors, and all forms stakeholders, It is the technicality you are hoping to deliver under intense pressure, it is all kinds of push, pull, drag and roll in every direction to ensure you are one more step closer.
The hustle is you lying in bed for 8 hours but only get 2hours of sleep because your mind won’t stop racing in virtual reality. With few bucks left in your account and you have become a tenant in your own apartment because all of a sudden Airbnb is the only source of livelihood or food delivery, combined with driving for uber and whatnots. The hustle is selling cookies on weekends so you can continue to be an entrepreneur Monday – Friday back to back, hoping to build a successful scalable startup. While waiting for the first positive response from all of your 500+ requests, cold emails and calls sent weeks or months earlier.
3 Months later you are counting, 489 rejections, and not a single positive response. This is it! You have finished your savings, maxed out your credit card, looking the mirror and your smile is gone, you are looking again and you are like “nobody gives a fuck about me!”.
You are angry but you can still keep your cool. You’ve gone to all the events there is, from freezing cold Helsinki’s Slush to hell hot San Francisco’s tech disrupt, met amazing people who smiled as they connected with you on LinkedIn, handed one another all kinds of business cards, everyone trying to sell themselves to one another and then you receive more business cards.
A wild west, maybe not. Then the after-parties and then more connections. LinkedIn data can easily be used to plot heat maps on the connection buttons and how it’s correlated to business events and conferences around the world. (A fucking Viral strategy that will continue to reign supreme).
Conferences over and then comes a rain of follow up emails, teleconference requests, and even more cold calls to and from your newest connections, this might be the first time you finally get a followup action with a promise of a potential result, but somehow you soon realize most of it is a dead end. It’s dawned on you, you’re dead broke, rejections on horizontal and vertical connections. Fear creeps in.
And Out of the blue, an email sent from a potential lead you met 5 months ago vibrates your phone asking you to a meeting, instantaneously you are in euphoria and yes, yes, ok, yes, right ………to-be-continued
This article was voicemade . It’s a first episode of the series of weekly posts to burst the myth enveloped in Startup Porn. The upcoming episodes will cover Anxiety suffered by entrepreneurs, Go Big or Go home, fake it till you make it and other BS, the Breaking point or Break even, with reference to real-life cases to include theranoes, WebVan, VCs and many other case studies but only for educational purpose no shaming, no pun. Happyread