"So, how was your day so far?"
I typed the message on Farhat's chat window in the afternoon. 'Farhat' is a young entrepreneur in event management space; often she takes advice from me on business and entrepreneurship.
"Good!" (Exited faced emoji)
"Remember the event for the institute? That deal finalized! The institute liked the concept and wish to start work as soon as possible."
She replied, clearly she was happy because she felt like she did something today.
"I am feeling quite good, it's still half of the day remaining, and the main and big work is done for today." Later, she replied.
The next day, in the afternoon again, I typed the same message,
"So, how was your day so far?"
"I am trying to make it better, yet nothing has happened quite well…" She replied in a few minutes.
"What about you?"
"Not profitable but productive" I replied…
"Huh…???" - She was clearly confused!
"Well will discuss that in person, come prepared with your questions!"
In evening, I asked her again about her day, and she was totally disappointed to even talk about it.
To her, it meant that only a good day is a day which brings her profitable work and only such days are a day well spent! And that was directly related to her emotions; her happiness level was directly interrelated on the business she is getting! And the problem lies exactly there, and this happens with many young startup founders.
Two days after that we met, she looked fresh, explained she got another event at the end of the day, and that's why she seems satisfied now.
"Do you think as an entrepreneur you will get work each day?" It was my first question to her as we started walking.
"Once I get big enough…..??" Her impractical big ambitions spoke!
"Oh, that's generally not the case! You don't always get work even when you are big business, there are these phases of waiting or less work, and you should be prepared for it, then you have to sit, most importantly relax, and do the other things as an entrepreneur. And yes, you should be able to relax, as you and your business are two different entities, and it should never affect your happiness level."
"But then I won't be making any money?" she came right to the outcome.
"True! But then that's what entrepreneurship is all about! You don't always get work or money, and maybe you get a lot of both of them, maybe you sit jobless for some time, and through all that you need to sail and remain emotionally stable! Off course money is one of the important aspects of business, but then this is the main difference between the jobs and entrepreneurship - Safety of salary coming to account at the beginning of every month is for employees, but same is not guaranteed for entrepreneurs, at least not in equal portion."
"Are you prepared to not make money for yourself for the next three years at least? And does that still keep you emotionally stable?" I asked.
"No… obviously!", she said.
How could she be? And how that cannot mess up her emotions? When her entire friend circle is making a sizable fortune at the end of the month. We continued walking as we talked about the solutions to fill the gap of financial challenges she has, and still how she can be easy on her dreams because she really has got time in life as average 24 years old is sometimes not even serious about life. What I discussed with her that day was really important for all those who are standing in a similar kind of shoes as her.
For all of us, money is essential. And by getting a job or getting into entrepreneurship first motive is to get paid. Even scientifically that's true too, as per Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Our basic needs do include food, shelter, clothing, safety, warmth, etc. But we may not get all of that at in one go. Especially at the starting of entrepreneurship, rather that's the irony of entrepreneurship!
The more hold you have over your life; the more you are responsible for you are each action. And so I always start all my guidance sessions with trashing all the dreamy thoughts wannabe young entrepreneurs have in their minds. Your happiness, your peace of mind and your bubble of dreams must go parallel to the reality of life. Your mind should be stable enough to take the stress entrepreneurship throws at you! And then only you have to decide if that really is your cup of tea at least for now? And it's ok if it's not your cup of tea right now, but maybe after taking up a job and doing well in it for even couple of years, you might feel free to giving it a chance.
After all, the real entrepreneur at heart always does justice to their dreams! And giving up on their ideas can't be ever a way of life for them. It will be a phase, and it will only educate you through real-life experience, to help you stand firm and sustain in the storms of real life.
And then the end goal always will be to shoot for the stars which you have in your mind, as you will gain a considerable amount of clarity in what you wish to do.
"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears." - Les Brown
I am sure many of you relate to this, so here, and now is your chance, to stand up, not give up on your dreams, get hold of your emotions, and let your brain be in charge.
These are some practical tips to try before you jump directly into entrepreneurship -
1. Work with someone
Take up job, work with someone in similar filed, as you're interested and thinking of starting a business. Propose your employer to give you more responsibilities and projects. It is an excellent opportunity to learn different skills of running a business, trade secrets, client interaction and more.
"Inexperience is an asset. Embrace it." – Wendy Kopp
2. Read and learn
Read more about the industry you are working, about business, management, finance, marketing and everything else which will help you in future. Learn about trends, market and your customers. Reading is the most important habit an entrepreneur should have.
"The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you." – B.B King
3. Start side projects
To keep your entrepreneur spirit alive start side project in your free time. Side projects are a great way to experiment with your idea without fear to fail. Side project means no pressure to finish it on extremely tight deadlines. Many great companies and products were once just side projects.
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." – Confucius
4. Focus on fitness
Sure everyone must remain healthy and fit. Especially entrepreneurs must focus on health and fitness first, as they go through tremendous physical and mental health. If you're fit, you can do anything.
"Respect your body. It's the only one you get."
5. Do meditation
Like physical fitness, emotional health is also very important to handle the stress and emotional rollercoaster. Every entrepreneur will experience difficult phases in the entrepreneurship journey, and during such time, it is essential to remain emotionally stable. Sound health and an emotionally stable person can achieve greater success.
"Your body can stand almost anything. It's your mind that you have to convince."
Finally, don't give up, but don't mess-up with wrong impressions.
Photo by Harshal Deshpande.