Dancing in the Darkness – Embracing The Uncertainty of Being an Entrepreneur
Every day I meet entrepreneurs who are waiting for perfection. Does this describe you? You won’t go networking because your website isn’t perfect. You won’t put yourself out there to ask for a speaking event because you don’t quite have the perfect niche group yet. You spend hours doing more training, buying more programs, listening to more classes, because you know if you just hear enough “stuff”, you’ll be ready to go out there and try it.
Or maybe you’ve gone out and tried and it didn’t quite work. Someone was rude to you at a networking event. Only two people showed up at your workshop. Three clients signed up for your program last week and then two of them backed out. You gave your all to creating a website only to realize that you picked the wrong target market.
I’ve experienced just about every part of aspect of “things not working”. At my first workshop (six years ago) only two people showed up and then one of them walked out in the middle of it. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on programs and services that weren’t quite right for my business. I spent nine months creating my first fancy website – only to realize that the strategy was wrong.
And you better believe that I’ve put in my time wishing it could be different. Wishing that I could just be perfect already. Wishing that I could just make all the right decisions now and not have to learn from my experiences.
But year after year – there is one truth that just keeps coming back to me: “You can’t get there without being here.” You have to let every experience be your teacher and know that every dollar, every tear, every frustrated moment has led you here. And it will eventually lead you to the mythical “there”. Alas, and when you do get “there”, you’ll be already be wishing to get to another place.
It has led me to my three golden rules for keeping my sanity in business.
1. Growth occurs through imperfect action after imperfect action. You often need to “fall on your face” in order to learn the most. And it isn’t always easy or fun. But it always gets better when you stand back up. So no matter what, just keep acting. That way you’ll spend more time falling, but also more time standing.
And if you are anything like me there will come a time when the falling doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it used to.
2. The best results happen when you give 110% of yourself – even if you don’t know what you are doing. If you run at full speed and you are going the wrong direction – you’ll figure it out much faster then if you were walking. There are no guarantees, but as long as you give it your all – you’ll have fewer regrets.
3. Though we might try – control is futile. You can prepare all you want and your business will always throw something unexpected at you, especially if you are doing something for the first time. Surrender and have faith that all is well. It’s much easier that way.
The art of being an entrepreneur is learning to dance amidst the chaos and have faith before the darkness. I wish you many dances and much faith.