I launched The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast earlier this week. It’s been months of silent grinding away — early mornings compounded with late nights. I’ve already interviewed quite a few entrepreneurs, all of them having achieved some level of success with businesses doing more than $5MM in revenue. They have helped me realign my own expectations as I continue down this path of my own entrepreneurial journey.
One thing that’s not often talked about when starting a business is the hours, the days, and the months where no one knows what you’re doing but yourself. Entrepreneurs are dreamers and visionaries, innovators and game-changers. They like thinking about the future, which makes living in the present disappointing at times. And because of this, the entrepreneurial journey is often a lonely one where no one but yourself, no matter how hard you try to explain it, sees your vision the same way you do.
For the entrepreneur, it’s important to remember Why you started this journey. Really, it’s the only thing that sustains you when it feels like no one else is on your side. I like saying on my podcast that the only commonality between the entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed is the perseverance and adversity they’ve had to overcome in mastering their craft.
I think the greatest fuel for any entrepreneur is the belief in something bigger than yourself. Without a bigger perspective, you stagnate your potential, you limit your opportunities, and you sell yourself short. (read: What You Aim at Determines What You See)
Let the bigger picture carry and motivate you on the hardest days — the ones when no one’s listening. Accept the truth that no one, and I mean no one, will ever care about your vision more than you, and that’s okay.
“Because the leader must always be ahead of their followers, they live with a particular loneliness. Though they may be friendly, there are areas of life where they must walk alone. Though they may seek counsel and support from others, decisions come back to the leader alone.” — J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership
There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice to being an entrepreneur, and I don’t think most people truly understand what that means until they’ve experienced it for themselves. There’s a reason for the saying: it’s lonely at the top. It’s because most people give up before they reach the summit.
The belief in the bigger picture makes the payoff worth it. And more than anything, the journey up the mountain helps shape who you are as an individual. I think the best ambitions have more to do with development of character and ability, rather than status and power. The latter is fleeting, while the former stays with you the rest of your life.
As I sit here writing this out one week post-podcast launch, I can’t help but wonder if it gets easier. It may not, and I’m okay with that. In my heart and in my soul, I feel compelled to do this, and that’s what fuels me.
And if I don’t do it, who will?