Always, Sarah

How to Walk the Unclear Path of an Entrepreneur

When you're employed, your employer { hopefully } sees the big picture and provides a map for you to follow.  Sometimes they know what they're doing, most times they make it look like they do.  The two most fundamental lessons I've learned being in business for myself are:

  1. You don't really know how things will turn out.
  2. And that's ok.

I've always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of girl.  I quit college and moved to Texas spur of the moment { see what I did there }. Last minute, like day-of planning, long road trips excite me. I shoot blind sometimes.  This isn't how every aspect of my life works, I still need answers and I do plan, but I am able to roll with the punches.  Not knowing answers or outcomes to plans can be super scary, up-all-night-can't-sleep kind of scary. But the not knowing is what makes an entrepreneur more fascinating than being an employee with a regular desk job with a regular paycheck.

We take risks.

We fail.

We learn.

We don't know what is going to happen next.

We go at it again, headfirst. 

Not knowing is what keeps my husband in his office. Not knowing is what gets me up everyday. He and I aren't wired the same and that's OK.  I'm not going to lie, it freaks me out to not have answers to my husband's questions but not knowing can be liberating if you embrace it.  And it's kind of awesome that he cheers me on anyway.

Here are 5 Tips to Walk the Unclear Path of an Entrepreneur

1.  Admit you don't know what you don't know. Obviously this is the first step, but it's so hard because we often think we know or think we can at least make things go the way we want them to. Which I'm sad to say, this ain't true my friend. Many things fail despite your passion and amount of effort placed to make things succeed.  We can't know the future and we certainly can't control it.  We don't know what we don't know.  Admit it to yourself and to those around you.  Embrace it.

2.  The What-If Game. To put it lightly, I am not a huge fan of the what-if game. It gives me anxiety, but we'll talk about that next. The only time I play it is when I am considering the worst thing that could happen. What if - someone doesn't like you or your work, you fumble during your pitch, you don't get hired, the business fails. How bad is the worst case scenario? What's the probability that it will happen? What will you do to move forward? In the last 7 years, I've seen the outcome of each of those scenarios and I've survived to write this for you today. Seriously, I'm pretty sure you will be fine no matter what.

3.  Anxiety Schmanxiety. I'm not even going to play around with this one.  You will start feeling anxious, sometimes the feeling creeps up several times a day.  When this happens, figure out what is motivating the anxiety. What are you hoping will (or won't) happen that's making you anxious? This awareness is the key to everything.

4. Alright Alright Alright. Once you're aware of an outcome you're hoping for, tell yourself that it doesn't matter if that outcome happens.  We all have very creative minds with great imaginations and sometimes we create this fear based on a made up story. Whether or not what we're hoping (or not hoping) for happens, we will be OK. You will be OK.  The only exception that I can think of would be a life and death situation, but even death is an outcome that I would be alright with.

5. Enjoy the Ride.  I know letting go of a tight grasp on something you love can be scary, but believe me when I say it's quite freeing and a relief when you do. You are on an adventure and once in a while, life's GPS can't find the signal and it's up to you what to do next. Look around you, see how amazing it is to be where you are with those around you, enjoy the ride and smile. Walking this unclear path, isn't just the entrepreneur's path but the path of life itself.

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