Remember that kid in school who’d kiss up to the teacher? Eye roll. Or that kid who’d buddy up to classmates when they were going to throw a party? Gross. We called them users – because they were. They’d use you for a weekend at the cottage, or some time by your swimming pool. They’d want to copy off your homework or leverage some of your street cred without giving a thing back. Take. Take. Take.
It would be great if those behaviours were simply a function of maturity and everyone grew out of them. But sadly, that’s not the case. The process of emerging from my safe little bubble – The Nook, where I offer therapy and entrepreneurial mentoring – to the public world of entrepreneurs has been fascinating. What I’ve noticed is that those kids, the users, are all grown up. But the behaviors have stuck and they’re still motivated by what someone else can provide for them on their way up in business.
The brilliant Irish journalist...
Did you hear about that entrepreneur that couldn’t get past her fear? Ya, neither did I. Because she no longer exists. Fear had her pinned in a chokehold up against the wall and she didn’t fight back. Her dreams died. Her plans fizzled. The energy drained out of her big ideas and she slunk back to the 9-5 utterly defeated and shaken. She left fear behind and wrapped herself in the cocoon of someone else’s corporation, someone else’s dreams, risks, and decision-making.
Being an entrepreneur entails pushing our relationship with ourselves to the very limits and back. Owning your own business will strain you and stretch you and kick up every fear you’ve ever imagined, and many you haven’t.
Will they like me?
Will they like my product/service/program?
Will it float or will it flop?
What if …?
Are you one of those entrepreneurs whose partner has been 110% supportive right from the word ‘go’? Happy to invest whatever it takes in your business to see it thrive? Picking up the slack at home or with the family to dedicate even MORE time to your entrepreneurial goal? If that’s you, there’s no need to read on. Kiss your partner, say ‘thank you’, and go make a cup of coffee or pour a glass of wine to enjoy.
This is for The Others. The people whose partner has struggled to understand the blood sweat and tears that goes into creating a business. Beyond that, they are baffled as to why you would want todedicate so much blood, sweat, and tears to such a pursuit.
This is a rather embarrassing confession coming from a Couples Therapist, someone who specializes in communication, but it highlights the struggle of the entrepreneurial divide. A few years back my partner, Peter (an architect) pulled yet another all nighter of designing a stunning...
Wouldn’t it be great if the entrepreneurial world was nothing but feel good vibes, endless encouragement, and above board behavior? It does exist. In abundance. But I’m no Little Miss Sunshine, and I recognize that there’s also a dark little underbelly to the entrepreneurial world. There can be jealousy and malevolence; it can be populated with copycats and slimy snakes.
Some of these unseemly characters may even poke their nose into your social media feeds or attempt to undermine your success with sneaky verbal jabs. They may ambush you with a not so nuanced roundhouse kick to your confidence that leaves you gasping for breath. You feel yourself fume with anger, then sting with hurt, followed by a tailspin into questioning your competence. You can ride that emotional roller coaster unlimited times.
You worry about your credibility and don’t want to let this rotter get away with such atrocious behavior. How DARE they?!! Who do they think they are?...
Do you remember standing in line as a kid, waiting for your turn on a carousel? As it spins, you try to select the horse you want. Your horse. Finally your moment has come. You race for the turnstile, elbowing other kids out of the way and you nab it. Your Horse. You’re elated – you got the one you wanted! Or… the one you thought you wanted. You look around at the other kids’ horses and compare them to yours. That one has a longer mane. That one has a more sparkly bridle. Before you know it, the ride is over and you didn’t even enjoy it because you were so caught up in wondering if you got The Best Horse.
It would be amazing if we grew out of this futile practice of comparing. Sadly, even as adults, we all have an occasional (or constant) impulse to jump on the comparison carousel again. What in the world would entice anyone to engage in such a useless, futile, waste of time?
It’s a very natural inclination to figure out where we fit in the grand...