Written by Taryn Andre
Whether starting a business for profit or pursuing a passion project, many of us often fall into the trap of falsely glamorizing these sorts of endeavours. Although the glamour aspect is what the consumer sees after the fact, it’s relatively non-existent to the entrepreneur or creative during the production process. There’s a lot of risk and failure, trial and error that goes into making a pursuit successful. You can’t expect to reach your goal, create quality and innovation by using a generic template or formula.
Life has been one big learning curve over the past few years:
I realized that my desires wouldn’t equate to anything if I didn’t have the self-discipline and courage to manifest them into my reality.
I realized that I am not a genius at every aspect pertaining to my creative endeavours and never will be.
I had to suppress my overly timid and cautious nature and realize, that failing and taking risks was a part of the territory. Although the virtue of temperance serves a good purpose, I felt as though it was keeping me stagnant and hindering the improved version of myself that I envisioned being.
Being an entrepreneur is like building a boat —without possessing any previous boat building experience— while in the water with piranhas nipping at your legs; there is no guarantee that you’ll build the boat correctly on the first, second or third try. The only true guarantee is that you’ll experience pain because piranha bites hurt, but somehow the idea of the boat becoming a reality is worth the risk. It may take 52 unsuccessful attempts at building the boat to finally get it right on the 53rd time but that’s the kind of incredible commitment needed to witness the thing that you claim you’re passionate about come to life.
Screw Praise, Get Fulfillment
You’d be amazed at how difficult some people find it to pursue their passions simply because they won’t receive special treatment, praise from onlookers or fancy titles. You have to believe in what you’re doing even when you don’t have anyone to cheer you on. You have to be willing to work in pure silence, with no hands clapping, no crowds cheering.
Become Comfortable with pivoting
Pivoting must happen when you’ve come to the daunting realization that despite the time and effort you’ve put into an idea, you need to change direction to get on-target with your long-term goal. Never fall in love with an idea. Always be open to tweaking or completely changing your direction.
Never partner up with someone whose thought process, ideas and execution are the same as yours. It’s amazing that I have a business partner who also happens to be my best friend, that compliments my strengths and balances my weak areas. There needs to be a yin-yang element between two business partners; balance is key.
Try Again, or Start Over
No one likes to fail because they mistake failing for being a failure. When I fail, it makes me sharper at progressing towards my aspirations because I am putting my knowledge into action by continuing, and trying again.
Celebrate the Journey
I find myself a little too fixated on the destination at times, thinking that when I reach the big picture is when I can officially take pride in my accomplishments. I admit it’s flawed thinking. I am learning to make a conscious effort to celebrate myself for whatever daily milestone that I reach, both in my personal life and business life. It is a sacred act. I have to do more of it, but first I need to break out of this mindset before I can.
If you’re too embarrassed to admit failure, are not willing to make sacrifices, or get easily hung up on negative criticism (constructive or not), pursuing a business or your passion project will become an even more trying task.
There’s no book or perfect formula specifically tailored to help you achieve your goal. Another person’s formula to their own success will never be the one and true answer for your personal journey; it can only serve as a guide for you, so be courageous, take necessary risks, and create your own answers.
What you learn on your journey IS your personalized formula to success, don’t let the bumps in the road fool you.
Taryn is a creative from Atlanta, GA. She is a hobbyist photographer with a B.F.A. in fashion design. She currently runs an online real estate service with her boyfriend, and is also pursuing a journey as a digital nomad.