So, I have completed 3 weeks as a full time entrepreneur (yeah, before that I was juggling multiple roles, so technically not a ‘full time’ entrepreneur). Oh boy, this is the most stomach churning emotional roller coaster I have ever experienced and mind you, the ride has just begun.
I flipped daily starting from the euphoria that ‘I will own the world and impact the lives of millions’ to a day where I would think ‘Yikes! Doom seems only weeks away.’ I know this is the story of every start up founder, but when you go through the motion, you ‘actually’ understand what they were talking about. The level of stress one is in, magnifies the incredible highs and unbelievable lows at manic speed. Sounds like fun?
Let’s face it, this emotional see-saw is part of the game and you have two options- you can hold on and scream or you can wave your hands in the air and enjoy it, Whoopee! I analyze this situation similar to a visit to Disneyland. Initially from the sidelines, we look at people who are going through those outrageous rides- some are waving their hands and laughing while some have closed their eyes and praying ‘Oh God, when would this ride stop!’ You then ask are you courageous enough to go through the motion? You do not have to because you can choose to sit on the sides with your popcorn and be safe. If one decides to experience the ride (not because they have to, please!), you have a lot of uninformed optimism and you do not really know what is coming yet. Believe me, watching others go through it would never give you the real picture. So, in that optimism you take the risk of getting into it. This is the stage you convince your potential investors, employees or customers that why would this idea work and why should they support you? Similar to convincing rest of your family or friends to join you in that roller coaster ride.
Once the ride has started, you are super excited and slowly the speed picks up. Now you have more information on what is the ride all about and there are times in between where there is an uphill climb, where things would move slowly or may be a bit jerky. No, you are not worried or depressed, perhaps somewhere between scared and excited. So, in this stage you have assessed the ground reality and can make better decisions without having that over-optimism. You still have those small wins of conquering the humps, making sound decisions and of course a lot of course correction. Your idea of the business model would change umpteen number of times since the time of conception to the launch.
During these times, what has helped me in keeping my confidence high and morale up is to constantly remind myself of the why? The purpose of taking this leap, when I know that and visualize it, it boosts my confidence. If you know your why, you can go through the how part. I am not neglecting myself during this time because all work and no play makes you a dull entrepreneur doesn’t it? A healthy lifestyle complete with a good diet, exercise and meditation helps a lot. Not to forget, that you cannot handle it all by yourself, so you have your support group of positive people around you who lend you an ear and simply tell you ‘you can do it.’ Let me conclude with the lyrics of one my current favorite heart pumping song ‘I Lived ‘by One Republic-:
Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall
Hope when the water rises, you built a wall
Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name
Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay
Hold on tight and see the magic of Chef In a Box unfold…..