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Read me like a book by starting at the beginning

Enjoy The Quiet Life

Date - 20 September 2016/ Category - Personal Lessons
Personal lessons

When I started out in the world I wanted everyone to know where I was going and what my life was going to look like.

I kept in my head a very clear vision of where I was going, I’d pretty much even set up a charity in my head that would help people just like me and yet I hadn’t even got my foot in the door.

You see I fell hook line and sinker for the much publicised belief that if you put in the hard work the rewards will come. They won’t.

You see your idea matters more than the effort you put in. I’m sorry but it does and effort doesn’t even come second, that’s a title held by how many contacts and avenues to sell your idea you have!
Anyhow I felt the need as a young and boisterous entrepreneur to celebrate every success on social media. New car, post it. Meal out, filter it. The list was endless.

And yet through all of the highlife on social media there was an ever increasing hole developing that I couldn’t fill. It was a lack of success.

You see it’s really easy to give people the impression of success. Sharp suits are available anywhere and a good Instagram filter can make even the most mundane trip look like a million dollars.

The truth is, in the end you’re not only kidding yourself but you’re setting yourself up for a big fall.

Being an entrepreneur means learning to deal with the ups and downs of business, but it doesn’t mean that your friends will learn that lesson too. Your friends will see your posts or hear your boasts and wait for the day when the realisation that you’re going to have to go out and get a job comes to really knock you down.

Being an entrepreneur is hard enough without having to justify to someone who has no clue about the real world of starting a business how you did put in loads of effort and still got nowhere.

Entrepreneurs aren’t like Mark Zuckerberg. Real “entrepreneurs” (although I dispute the use of the term) are your butcher on the highstreets that’s taking on the might of Tesco’s and your pub landlord that’s managing to pay the rates. It’s not all glam but the fact is these brilliant and yet unappreciated business owners manage to keep the lights on day after today.

There’s a huge misconception that the only way to earn good money is through owning your own business. It’s not true. Plenty of managers get paid a fortune when they don’t own the business.

As a society we get caught up looking at the 0.00005% of entrepreneurs that make a fortune and think it’s always going to be like that. The fact is being an entrepreneur is vastly different for most people.
So when you’re starting out, because there’s no guarantee of success, don’t celebrate it before it’s begun. Let people see you for who you really are. Post about the effort you’re putting in, the things they don’t see so that when you see your friends you can talk about that, and not the car you can hardly afford.

If you make a good go of it then your success will be rewarded by friends that have seen how hard you worked, and not those that saw you make it on day one. If you don’t make it, then your friends will respect you for having given it your best shot.

Up and down the country lots of people give it their best shot and fail. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just a fact of life that not everyone can win. The trick is to realise when you need to give up and when you need to keep going.

As an entrepreneur recognising when to give up was the hardest part because it means letting go of your dream, at least for a little while.

I failed miserably with my first business venture, and it wasn’t for lack of trying. I worked harder for that business than anything I ever have but the idea just wasn’t good enough to succeed. Looking back I wish I had given up earlier and changed direction because it took me so long to repair my life and finances simply because I hung on in there for too long.

One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur was watching as all my employed friends enjoy the exact dreams I had had for myself with nothing much to show for my efforts. Yes there were awards.

Yes there was a bubble of celebrity, but when you’re drowning in debt it’s meaning less really.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big, but you have to put the big dreams on a pedestal and focus on dreams just out of your reach and keep moving the goal posts so that you can celebrate every little success, but most of all do it for you. Don’t show the world an achievement until you’ve actually achieved it and the world will be much kinder to you when you do.

Chapter Summary:

• The success you feel and others see can be different
• Don’t give other people a reason to knock you down by over promising or celebrating too early
• Don’t be afraid to change direction

Read our next blog post “Dealing with jealousy”.