Entrepreneurs tend to be a little bit crazy. Starting a business takes a touch of insanity, but running a business can sometimes send you over the edge. You put everything you have into your business, face challenges you never could have prepared for and on top of it all are constantly scrutinized. How do you stay sane? After two years of being on the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship, these are the things I’ve found help me manage the dips and stay focused on the loops.
Learn to be patient: Patience has never been my specialty. I come from a hyperactive, scream-over-each-other-to-be-heard type of family, where if you don’t move quickly you are likely to be left behind. This life in the fast-lane mentality had propelled me forward in both my education and career so I applied it to my startup, setting ambitious goals & keeping busy with an endless list of daily tasks. I became increasingly frustrated, however, when my efforts weren’t yielding the immediate results I expected them to.
The past year has taught me a lot about the value of patience. St. Augustine said it perfectly: “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.” Eventually, I realized the same tactics that had always worked for me in highly structured environments weren’t completely applicable to my bootstrapping startup. I’ve learned to be happy making progress each day and to celebrate the small hurdles.
Open your eyes and ears: Sometimes I consider the amount of opportunities around me and am blown away. The crazy thing is that these opportunities have always existed, but I was always moving too fast with tunnel vision towards my next goal to notice them. Instead of listening to my environment, I always tried to make my environment listen to me. Once I opened my eyes to all of the wonderful opportunities out there, any lingering doubts about going out on my own vanished.