It just happened, though I have been expecting it for the last 3 months.
Really, I have been dreading this moment from the start of my new life.
From the day I left behind the security of a corner office and a regular paycheck to embark on the entrepreneurship adventure, it has been looming.
When will I feel overwhelmed by doubts and fears?
When will I start to question my very own choice?
When will I hit… the first brick wall?
It happened yesterday. It was triggered by something as insignificant as someone postponing a meeting by a week. It dropped me into a whirlpool of anxiety and exhaustion, almost triggering this compelling urge to pick up the phone to one of my beloved headhunters and literally beg for the safe haven of a ludicrous corporate role.
I had to fight hard against it.
What did I do?
I went to the office of one of the companies I am advising on.
I needed to feel part of something, to reconnect with the buzz of activities, idea sharing and brainstorming meetings that rule the start-up world, and stop the obsessive negative thinking.
I craved a sense of belonging and a sense of community. I needed to feel I was not alone in fighting to make things happen, to create change and value.
What did I learn about myself yesterday?
A lot, actually!
I realized that breaking your mental patterns is much more difficult than one expects. I have learnt that the path to entrepreneurship is a chaotic one, and that one needs both a tremendous level of energy to endlessly plant seeds and the maturity to give them time to grow in their own time, paired with an indefatigable self-confidence in one’s own ability to succeed and reach one’s goals, regardless of the pressure that builds up at time.
I have also learned that, thankfully, this is a very normal stage in the journey.
Every aspiring entrepreneur will go through the same turmoil, the rapid succession of highs and lows.
How do you manage then? What should you do to get out of the dip as quickly as possible and refocus on the tasks at hands?
A couple of tips for you:
Firstly, make sure you have a great support system to share and experience with. A mix of entrepreneurs, friends and family that will soothe your self-doubt and help you recalibrate your perspective.
Secondly, as Simon–Founder of Wazoku nicely advised be, make sure you celebrate every success, from the smallest ones– like signing off your first ten members and buying cupcakes – to the biggest ones – raising the £2.5 million needed to take your business to the next level and celebrating at Kensington Roof gardens.
Finally, make sure you keep yourself honest. Remember why you have chosen this life, how the benefits, whatever they may be –freedom, flexibility, purpose – still immensely outweigh the financial security, certainty and routine.
Remember and hold on, because success is always at the end of the road, and please, be gentle with yourself.
It was a great day yesterday.