Off the rails
The entrepreneurial roller coaster ride
My family and I recently returned from a vacation in Orlando. Any of you who have been to Orlando know that there are roller coasters dotting the landscape as far as the eye can see. I have never been a fan of roller coasters. I am not sure if it is the twists and turns, not seeing the end from the beginning, or the dark valleys where you cannot even see your hand in front of your face. Whatever it is, my family can attest to the fact that I refuse to ride on one.
Isn’t it ironic, then, that I have chosen a career riding the biggest roller coaster of life: the roller coaster of entrepreneurship?
From the outside looking in, being an entrepreneur can appear exciting. Being your own boss, writing your own rules, hiring whomever you want whenever you want, and building your future in your own way. Don’t get me wrong; those are definitely some of the perks. However, being an entrepreneur can also be a lonely, frightening, and often quite nauseating experience, especially as you navigate the ups and downs, twists and turns, the dark valleys, and the intense ascents up the hills.
To help you navigate this roller coaster of entrepreneurship and come out feeling like a winner, I’ve outlined below some tried-and-true suggestions:
- Don’t ride alone. Surround yourself with other successful entrepreneurs who will take the ride with you. Choose people you look up to who can give you sound advice and help you navigate the lows and celebrate the highs.
- Research the ride. Learn as much as you can about your industry and, specifically, about your business model. Knowing and understanding the journey will help you feel empowered when it comes to decision making or addressing the unexpected.
- Take a break from the ride. Riding the same topsy-turvy rollercoaster without a mental and physical break will leave you emotionally drained. Schedule breaks for both your mind and body so that you can plant your feet on solid ground and take a deep breath before you climb back on!
- Invest in the Fast Pass! Sometimes half the battle is in the wait. Investing in a coach or consultant who can take you to the front of the line, show you the ropes, and give you some pointers can save you so much time and money (and heartache!).