I always heard people say the entrepreneurial journey was a lonely one and I kind of rolled my eyes like “yeah, okay.. Why are people so sensitive”.. Then I hopped on board for my own journey and I was like.. OOOHHHH!!!! Oh okay, yeah I got it.. This is kind of lonely.
But it doesn’t have to be…
When I started this journey, all of a sudden, I was the weirdo who didn’t care about a promotion, salary, or a title. I cared about freedom and flexibility (no pun intended… #yogijokes) I got tired of sitting behind a desk doing the SAME thing everyday. I got tired of complaining and listening to complaints about nagging coworkers and bosses who side eyed the clock when you walked in late. But most of all, I was tired of knowing my potential without maximizing it.
Even though I still worked full time, I had something outside of work that was fueling me and I no longer cared about the pettyness of my 9-5 – I started focusing on 5 -2am. I was working on things that energized and inspired me. I couldn’t shut up about it and I couldn’t put it down.. And it’s still that way. I wanted to talk about goals and figure out LLC’s, marketing strategy, and scalability. I was reading more interesting books and wanted to dissect them and get my 10,000 hours & master my craft. The conversations and influence I was yearning to have were shifting but my environment wasn’t and I believe that is what was making entrepreneurship feel so lonely.
So, I decided to change my environment. I had a couple friends that were entrepreneurs and I started spending more time with them. Especially, if they were more experienced than me. The conversations were uplifting and we were constantly bouncing ideas off of each other and focused on greatness. On the tough days, we help get each other out of them. I no longer was allowed to say “I’m trying” and all my conversations were kept in the affirmative. I was building my tribe.
About a year into my journey I started working out of The HUB Space. The HUB Space is not only a coworking space but literally a business incubator. I’ve learned so much working up there with progressive peers who not only looked like me but could relate to my struggles and help me find solutions. There hasn’t been a question that I’ve had that couldn’t be answered from someone in that space or that could point me in the direction of someone who would know the answer.
I started to find community along my journey. I was finding people who “get it” and who were doing it. That made all the difference. I always say that you make up the average of the five people you surround yourself with the most and I’ve watched my business and the woman I am blossom and shift because of the amazing people I’ve been fortunate enough to surround myself with and the expectation that’s been placed on me to stay in that space. Me and my friends celebrate our wins and our “losses” (because it’s an opportunity to learn). We are the optimists you hate, but it is exactly what I need to stay motivated and encouraged.
I also had to learn to be this level of support for myself. I’m just over 2 years into this entrepreneurship thing and I’ve finally accepted the fact that I need to be my own biggest cheerleader. I need to celebrate my own accomplishments and clap for myself. Noone knows my vision like I do, so noone is going to understand what the manifestation of my vision means to me.
There was a time when I would find myself getting upset because someone I didn’t know would show up to support me before someone I did know would. But I found peace and gratitude in the spaces they did show up for. They might not have showed up for class but they were emotionally supportive when I needed them for other life things. Or they maybe made me laugh not knowing that was a day where noone showed up to class and I was down in the dumps. It’s all in your perspective.
As much as I would like for everyone to be obsessed with mindfulness and stress-management, they’re not. I had to learn to be okay with that. We’re human, and unfortunately, a lot of times, it can be hard for others to celebrate you, especially if they’re not happy in the space where they are. Don’t take this personally and don’t let it discourage you. Your parents and your peers are not responsible for your joy, you are. Someone out there needs the work that you do and you just need to stay focused and allow yourself to be a vessel for delivery of that product or service.
Be your own #1 fan. Be crazy about you and the work that you’re doing and the spaces you’re in. According to Earl Nightengale, the only people who are successful are those who are progressively realizing a worthy idea. That means if you are doing something you want to do, you are successful. Stop waiting for validation from the 95% of people who believe that they don’t have control over their life and happiness and start surrounding yourself with the 5% of those that are excited about life and going for it.
Write down 3 reasons you’re proud of yourself
Reach out to someone who has supported you on your journey and let them know how much you appreciate it.