"An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down." Reid Hoffman
That is just one of many inspirational quotes that is used to define and explain the entrepreneurial journey. Entrepreneurs are challenge driven, focused on creating their brand identity. But the journey towards creating a new brand in a market is a tough one. There are moments of great joy and achievement that carry you forward, onward and upward. But for every up there is also a down - a low point that challenges even the toughest and most determined spirit. Surviving and thriving in spite of these low points is the path towards success. Based on experience, here are a few ideas to help you survive the journey.
Join An Entrepreneurial Group
Having a group of people around you that is going through similar experiences is crucial. If you have entrepreneurial networking groups around you, join one today. If not, why not start one? This should be a space where you can share challenges, experience and best practice. A good size for such a group is between 6 - 8 people. Participation will help ground you and give you the support you need to power through the down times.
Establish A Routine
Create a conscious routine for yourself. Wake-up at a specific time every day, meditate, exercise, chat with a friend, have breakfast, get dressed and face the day. Irrespective of which, if any of these elements your morning routine includes, create it and then follow it. It gives your day a sense of purpose and it beats sitting on your sofa in your PJs all day trying to feel as if you have achieved something. Its not easy - but it is worth it.
Work Around Other People
If you, like many others are entering the entrepreneurial field after working in an office/corporate environment, the sudden isolation can be punishing. One way of avoiding this is to join a co-working space, one that is shared with other entrepreneurs and small start-ups. It give you a great opportunity to network and meet other people on a similar path to you and also helps establish a routine that you can follow. The cost is not prohibitive and in addition to its other benefits, it offers a professional environment to do business and conduct your meetings in as well.
Get Some Sleep
Never underestimate the value of sleep in your daily routine. When things get busy and hectic, sleep is often one of the first things sacrificed. The idea of that extra two hours of work is tempting. But this false productivity and unsustainable for anything longer than a few days. If you are getting less than 6 hours of sleep every day, your mind is slowing down, you are taking more time to do things - you are just to tired and sleep deprived to realize it. Make sure you get at least 6 - 7 hours of sleep a night. You will be better and more productive for it.
Meditation Is Your Friend
Before you sigh and write this off as new age mumbo jumbo, why not give it a shot? You don't have to spend hours every day - just give it 5 minutes every morning before you start your day. It helps center you and lets you cope with the stresses that an entrepreneurial lifestyle puts on you. Not sure how to get started? There are a number of free online programs that you can sign-up for. Try it out - it really works.