This time two years ago I was making my first entry into the world of entrepreneurship. I had been self employed before and understood that things wouldn’t be easy. However, actually looking at starting a business based on a ‘big idea’ I had meant that I was playing a whole new ball game. The stakes had been raised and so had the stress levels.
I spent far too much time doing menial tasks and tricking myself into thinking that I was being productive. I would write a weekly to do list of 20-30 things yet not one of them was anything to do with…..errrrrmm…..building a business. Sure I went to networking events but in all honesty I just stood out like a sore thumb.
Of course I would hype myself up, I would make out like I was some kind of big shot in the making and I would talk utter drivel pretty much all of the time. Truth be told I had no idea what I was doing and really underestimated what it took. To compound things I found that I kept chasing my losses by signing up to different courses, workshops and training programmes searching for answers. Now I had debt to contend with. The stress elevated to new heights.
My desperation grew and as a result I would be writing blogs daily in the hope that I would raise my profile and I would get noticed. That way I would have people come to me wanting to buy…..well…..nothing. I didn’t even know what I was selling! It’s fair to say that we can chalk my first attempt at entrepreneurship up as a failure. Lots of lessons taken on board there.
That is the first time I have admitted that and you know what? It feels so liberating. I’ve battled OCD for so long that I have always been so afraid to admit failure as it doesn’t fall in line with the delusional pursuit of perfection. Something I now know I cannot let control me anymore. The great thing is that looking at the grand scheme of things, it is merely feedback as I pick myself up, dust myself off and go again.
The biggest lesson in all of this has nothing to do with not knowing how to build a business. The biggest lesson was not knowing how to build me. I had no clarity on what I was trying to achieve because I had no clarity on what I wanted and even when I did come up with a vision I wasn’t able to convince myself that I could achieve it. So I gave up. Again and again and again. All the while telling the world how great life is and how well I’m doing. I was lying through my teeth. There is faking it until you make it and then there is just plain taking the piss.
Instead of going back to the drawing board in business terms I knew I had to look inside of me and figure out what on earth was going wrong. Why was I repeating the same behaviours, thought patterns and results over and over again? Only with an ever inflating ego making things worse.
Whilst looking within I made a discovery that has completely changed the way I approach and look at things. Something which is so basic and simple yet very difficult to grasp when all my ego kept wanting to do was bat this concept away. What I am referring to is service. Being of service to humanity.
I am not denying that I want the riches that comes with building a successful business. What I have come to realise is that it is no longer my driving force. When starting out it was all about being perceived as successful. I wanted to be respected and highly regarded. As I continue my studies and my own personal development I realise that until I found that in myself, until I respected and love myself then it’s foolish to think that I can expect it from anyone else. Like everything in life, it is an inside job.
I went back over how I spent my time, how I spent my money, what my dominating thoughts were. I knew that I had to move away from wanting to look good in the eyes of others. It is stressful and not to mention expensive. I placed a higher value on building wealth, I learned how to manage money better and starting developing a savings and investments programme. This helped to calm my emotions down in regards to money and enabled me to focus on what is more important. Service.
I started to understand the famous saying of helping enough people get what they want will help you get what you want. The more I can tame my ego and focus more on the needs of others, the more simple life becomes. It is also far more meaningful and far more rewarding.
I am a firm believer that we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. Therefore in the grand scheme of things, what have I really got to fear? There will be ups and downs to anything that we pursue. That’s nature, that is how we grow to ever greater levels of success. It is about embracing the peaks and troughs and not letting emotions cloud our thinking.
A lot of soul searching has enabled me to gain so much more clarity in what I want to do with my life. It has sparked my enthusiasm and exponentially increased my energy. I know what my purpose is and what steps I need to take for the next phase of my journey. Look within and you will find anything that you need.