10 minutes | Aug 12th 2016

Leaving The Rat Race To Run The Entrepreneur Race

  As you have probably noticed I have missed my schedule. That has happened only few times over the last 2 years… and in fact that’s exactly what I want to talk to you about in today’s solo episode. So why did I drift away from my schedule and skipped last week? Probably you expect a serious excuse but I am not sure there is any. The thing is… I have been going through lots of internal debate and spend a lot of time thinking about things and as a result I have partly lost my motivation, inspiration and drive. Did anything special happen to trigger this? Well, not really. I simply went through yet another paradigm shift. I came across the term paradigm shift ages ago back at the university. We had amazing communications professor, with who we went through Stephen Covey’s bestselling book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The paradigm shift was described there by a powerful example. I will read it for you and those who don’t know what it is will immediate understand what I mean. So here we go… I remember a mini-paradigm shift I experienced one morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly - some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway.  The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed. The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people's papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive as to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, "Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn't control them a little more?"  The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, "Oh, you're right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don't know what to think, and I guess they don't know how to handle it either." Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, and because I saw differently, I thought differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn't have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man's pain. Feelings sympathy and compassion flowed freely. "Your wife just died? Oh, I'm so sorry! Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?" Everything changed in an instant. Powerful example, isn’t it? I guess the short version of explaining paradigm shift is the quote from Dr Wayne Dyer: “When we change the way we look at things…..the things we look at change.” Ok so, now that we all know what I meant, here are the things I started looking differently at in the past few weeks. I tried different new things recently and I guess had several so called failures… things that did not work out… the results I hoped for that did not happen… and of course I felt frustrated and upset. Of course this was not the first time… those happen with entrepreneurs often and what we usually do is get back up and try something else… push harder, do more and not give up until finally one of our experiments succeeds… But this time, instead of immediately getting up and starting something else I decided to take a pause and reflect. Get some rest and give myself a break. I wanted to go back to my initial why and understand how did I end up where I was…. Why do most of the entrepreneurs choose that path? Why do they leave the so called secure corporate career? In most cases it is because they want freedom. They want to be free to do projects which inspire them and they are passionate about… they want to be free to have more time with their families… to be free to work online from anywhere they want… to be free not to follow the crowd and be free to enjoy their life… And what happens? Well… we end up working more than we did in corporate. But hey, that’s fine because now we do it for ourselves, right? We end up consuming too much content about how things are done, about the right strategies, about the people who are making full time income with their passion, about hustle and that you are supposed to hustle till your nose bleeds, your eyes have black circles from lack of sleep and you stress out completely. You get bombarded by marketers, who will teach you how to write a book in 90 seconds, make 10k in 2 days, grow engaged audience overnight and make lots of money in 5 simple steps… So now instead of the corporate rat race you end up joining the entrepreneurial race. You still end up following a crowd. Simply a different one… This crowd is smaller and is perceived to be “cooler”. The corporate people were the losers, and these are the ones who had the courage to make the leap of faith and leave. But it’s still the same damn thing - you still follow a crowd which tells you what you are supposed to do and how… All those “I’ve made this and I will show you how exactly you can make the same” type of messages. All those instructions of what you are supposed to do … “build sales funnel”, “do livetsreams”, “provide value”, “build a list”, “do webinars”, “use facebook ads”… Too much noise, too much content, too many “gurus”…  They even tell you who you are supposed to be… “be authentic”, “be approachable”, “be confident”, “be… be… be…” And now, after all that noise, after so many years of trying things and after so many conversations and reflections I wonder… Shouldn’t I forget everything that is out there? Shouldn’t I ignore all those messages?  Should I do it my way? I think the answer is yes. The only thing left is figuring out what my way is… :) Well, I guess that is all I wanted to share with you today. This one ended up being quite different. I simply wanted you to stop and reflect too… And while you are doing that I am leaving you with your thoughts and going to get a beer!
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