Over the holiday break I had a chance to talk with a lot of friends and family members about starting a company. I have been working on this venture for a few months, but had been keeping everything hush-hush. Most of them had no idea what I was doing. So, I decided to spill the beans and talk openly with people I know I can trust for an honest opinion. Just like I said in a previous post, reactions were mixed.
It got me thinking about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Merriam-Webster defines entrepreneur as 'one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.' I think that the role of entrepreneur is more difficult than that short definition implies. It's not enough to be the one who has an idea and organizes the company to realize the idea. As I have been finding, there is a social aspect to being an entrepreneur that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions, from depressed to uplifted, frustrated to satisfied, empty to fulfilled. It is the job of the entrepreneur to push past those feelings of depression and inadequacy and focus their energy on the task at hand.
There have been several times when I thought I should throw in the towel and get a 'real job', as my parents so eloquently put it. It took the advice of an old friend who I recently reconnected with on LinkedIn to put me back on track. He is also trying to start his own company called Webographers, but he's a few steps ahead of me. Sharing his own experiences with me about his company helped me to reaffirm my intention of making my venture work.
While it is good to get many opinions about your venture, be sure to surround yourself and keep in close contact with people who will renew your focus and ambition. It is easy to quit something when it becomes tough, in fact, our society almost encourages it. It is far more rewarding to persevere in the face of adversity. As an entrepreneur we must not only steer the company through rough waters, but we must fend off these dark thoughts and emotions that creep in from time to time. Only if we do both successfully will we have a real chance to succeed.
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