If you’re someone involved in my (or any entrepreneur’s) life you should read this article from Kevin Daum in Inc. Kevin’s entire column is always insightful and informative, but this time he hit the nail on the head. In it he explains the mindset it takes to be an entrepreneur, and how it shapes us. His article is called “Every Entrepreneur Wishes Family & Friends Would Read This”.
His first example is one of narcissism. This particularly hit home for me because I noticed this as soon as I started my business. Before entrepreneurism I despised narcissism and thought self-centered people were the most boring individuals in life. Just a few months into the business, after thinking every waking moment about how to make this venture work – it struck me that I was now only talking and thinking about my business. All conversations would come back to my business and what to do. I was boring, but I needed to think about it that hard all the time in order to ensure it’s success. This narcissism may never go away, but it’s absolutely critical in your first experience as an entrepreneur because you have no guarantee that you are smart, talented, ambitious, hard-working and connected enough to make it work. The fact is, even if you are all those things – there is still no guarantee.
It’s horrible but that’s what it takes to be successful. Unless you’re actually talented… but I’m not. Paul Arden said, in his book ‘whatever you think, think the opposite’ that…. “Successful people have big egos. Maybe they are successful because they have big egos.” reminds me of Kevin’s insight into this narcissism.
The problem with being talented is it doesn’t mean anything if there is no execution. In most industries that are worthwhile, you need to execute fast. Which means you need to work hard and be talented in order to really crush it. That takes a lot of brainpower and so to all the relationships that have suffered due to my entrepreneurism I’d like to say:
“Sorry, but it was worth it.”
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