Traversing the entrepreneurial abyss

Sometimes no matter how hard you hustle, the rewards just don’t measure up to expectations.

The late nights. The long days.

The tired fingers tapping away at the keyboard.

The microwaved dinners creating a precious extra 15 minutes you can spend on your task at hand.

The three likes on your post. The unreturned emails. The slowly diminishing bank balance. The glaring ‘0’ when you check the number of new site visits this week on your Google Analytics account.

That’s one of the toughest things I’ve found as an entrepreneur. Your input is definitely not always reflective of your outcomes.

In CorporateLand I was celebrated as a grafter. If stuff needed to be done, it got given to me because like some kind of miraculous HR magician I’d make the impossible a reality. It earned me respect, a few nice bonuses and allowed me to call in more than a few favours when I needed them.

I felt valued. Respected. Like I had something to offer that was worthwhile. It wasn’t financial gain that filled my heart, it was knowing that I’d made my colleagues life easier. That I’d created or delivered something that was going to add real value to leaders or employees.

Knowing that what I did mattered to someone made me feel proud.

So throwing so much invisible effort into the abyss of entrepreneurship is tough for me.

It’s required a lot of conscious reframing to shift above the line into positive thinking;

  • ‘Everything I try is an experiment; not everything will work, but I'll always learn’

  • ‘Adding value to one person’s day is reason enough to try’

  • ‘Showing up authentically is success in itself’

I chant my little mantras as I plug away creating content, sending personalised LinkedIn messages, developing webinars, commenting on posts, reading articles etc. But it’s so tough.

The thing that really keeps me going are the amazing people I’ve had the privilege of connecting with. Incredible people from across the world who saw something I shared and thought ‘yep, she’s worth conversing with’.

I’ve had some brilliant discussion with the most wonderful people recently. I’ve met people who are doing the most inspiring stuff, people who are doing it super tough, and people who are working their butt off like me to try and make something incredible happen.

I take something away from each and every conversation. I’ve gone from feeling anxious about calls with my connections to feeling excited about what I’m going to learn and what things of value I can share. For an introvert, that shift is no mean feat!!

I get wonderful DMs from people thanking me for being so authentic. I receive insightful comments from people sharing varied opinions and ideas. And I honestly and sincerely appreciate it all.

Every little ‘like’ helps me to remember that whilst the context is different, what I did mattered to someone today and I can still feel proud of my efforts.

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