Five ways that entrepreneurship helped me
5 ways entrepreneurship helped me to change for the better
Becoming “comfortable with uncomfortable”
Living with discomfort and becoming comfortable with it, I came across this phrase while I was reading “Do What You Love, Love What You Do”, last summer. I know, what a moment!
Here I would like to share why as a junior entrepreneur, I think entrepreneurship can help you to grow and face what takes them from your dreams.
From the moment you start your business you already put yourself out there and become outside your comfort zone. Then soon after you realise the key to success is just get as much visibility as possible. If you are anything like me you understand perfectly that this by principle is against our internalised fears and the weight that we give to other people’s opinion. Therefore, I had to find a way to overcome it, it was not easy and still not. This means I had to start collecting data about myself and identify the reasons behind my fears and all the negative thoughts associated with that visibility.
Redefine Success as a Junior Entrepreneur
If you lived most of your adult life as a perfectionist person like myself, you completely relate to this. Yes, you avoid doing things that may cause you to fail. As a founder the first principle is risk taking and try things that you can not be sure if it works until you try. If it did not work it would be an experience even better a lesson to remember or laugh about. I do not think I had any other choice rather than to understand and define success and failure in a different way.
I can give you a recent example of my market presence. In December last year, when markets started to reopen I was desperate for that physical presence. I was looking forward to the opportunity to share my food and flatbread stories and listen to others.
Since the first one in Peckham Levels - a cool community based venue in south east London and one of my favourites - with The Sisterhood of Arts, I traded in another 5. Not all of them went the same.It happened that after hours of commuting and standing all day without eating or drinking that much, I did not sell that much. But I would not say those events did not work. The opportunity to get to know creative diverse and supportive communities of indie makers, mindful crafters, community organisers, plus had a chance to chat with the amazing visitors are my new metrics for success.
Taking Criticism, Practising vs Mastering
As a solopreneur, you try so hard and put 100% into doing something, making something happen and most of the time you are pretty much doing everything on your own. That moment you put it out there, on one hand you are desperate to hear the feedback from the community. On the other hand inside you have an internal challenge not to take it personal and not to miss any single point. In another word, you practise day by day how to read, listen and digest feedback and comments beyond the terms and intention behind them and look for the inspiration and lessons learnt.
There is another practice in this for me, at some point I started to stop putting energy to be liked by everyone. Not everyone would like my kits and workshops or even the flatbread and this is fine. This reminds me of that funny meme that became viral on social media “You Are Not Coffee Cannot Please Everyone”.
Being vulnerable and still trustworthy
Learning to face my vulnerabilities and start to embrace them as the most human value that we all share. Part of this process I am trying to become open about it and ready to share, as it is the only way that the potential client can relate to me and trust me. How, when, and how much to share is an absolute personal choice and it might be different from one person to another. Overtime, I learnt the more I share and the more I try to talk to my community with my vulnerable side, with less fear and shame of being perceived as weak or untrustworthy the more I feel I belong. As you can imagine it is not an easy quick process. As this is not the way I was raised and trained, plus never expected to show up with our vulnerabilities, especially in the corporate world.
I consider myself lucky that I had the opportunity to face the fact that I lived almost three decades of my life perfectionist woman, and this needs to be changed. I would like to give myself the credit of putting in the effort to step out of my comfort zone and start to embrace the aspects in myself that I may not be that comfortable with.
Writing this blogpost was a way to celebrate this with you and also a reminder to myself for those tough days in my business journey.
I feel more connected and belonged by sharing and try to become comfortable with uncomfortable and have “the courage to be imperfect” as a daily practice. How about you?