Entrepreneurs’ Strange Addition to Struggle
Lately I’ve been wondering why it is so difficult for creative entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level. Even when we know what needs to be done, we revert back to our old ways. Is it possible we have a strange addiction to struggle?
Many times I’ve shed light on how difficult change can be, and I have written about the undeniable traits of creative entrepreneurs. In this article, I want to dig a little bit deeper.
We feel fear. We all feel fear. Sometimes I think fear never goes away because we have to experience everything first so we can let go of being afraid. In other words, we learn as we grow. We can educate ourselves to some degree but there is nothing that can prepare you for what life dishes out when you least expect it. For some, the unknown strikes fear to the very core.
When we feel fear, most of us are not confident enough to take a big leap. We spend our time evaluating all the options while the clock keeps ticking. We continue to evaluate and evaluate, day in and day out, with the goal of one day stepping into action. You know—later, when we’re fully prepared. That day will never come, so what’s wrong with today?
The result of doing something new is uncertain. Why would we change something predictable even if it makes us miserable? It’s the devil you know, right?
So most of us putter along day after day doing basically the same old with small variations, but without ever hitting it big. We manage to scrape by while telling ourselves it could be worse.
This describes an entrepreneur’s addiction to struggle. Graciously, struggling is acceptable in our society because so many of us are in that mode. Hollywood is on board, too. Movies about the bohemian lifestyle make it thoroughly enjoyable to watch from the outside as a bunch of broke people try to make something of their lives while they inevitably endure one tragedy after another. Unfortunately, art imitates life in this example.
Because of the mindset of the person addicted to struggle. Much like we acknowledge happiness is a choice, we should think of struggle the same way. We chose to see happiness or despair. We chose to struggle, or to see it as a step in the direction of our certain rise to success.
When I was struggling with $135,000 in debt and didn’t know how to pay my bills, I fought like a lioness. I had leaned way out of the window with my idea of building up a stock syndication. Then I went way into debt; deeper than I ever thought I could manage. The struggle closed in on me. It was almost game over. But, I clung tightly to the notion that I would not be defined by defeat. I didn’t want to go down in flames, I didn’t want to fail, but I accepted that it just might happen.
I held onto the ideal that my struggle was a stepping stone, and I got the outcome I wanted in spite of it all.
When we do whatever we can—everything in our power—to make it happen and it fails, maybe failure was necessary so we purse an alternate (the correct) path. I knew deep in my soul that I was meant for much bigger and better things. When I realized I was no longer content with struggling and making do, suddenly the game shifted from barely making it to making it big.
My question to you is: Are you addicted to the romantic struggle of the artist, of the creative? Have you bought into this nonsense? If so, is it time to shift your beliefs to something more suitable for success?
A different mindset, a better attitude?
Many of my clients are now making six and even seven figures. They are done struggling.
What about you?