Recently, my girlfriend and I have started running together a few days a week. It is the perfect chance to exercise, talk about how our days went, and chat about anything that may be on our minds. So far, it has been awesome.
During our run today, I began to get excited about my current work on Soulmix. I started talking about how great things could be, and how exciting the big vision could be. I didn’t get more than a minute or two into this before my girlfriend stopped me.
The following conversation went something like this:
Her: “Alex, the big vision is great and all, but you need to figure out how to get it off the ground from nothing.”
Me: “I know, I know.. I’m just talking about how I’m starting to see more potential in the project.. of course, if it pans out.”
Her: “I just don’t want you to count your chickens before they hatch. In the past two years, you have gotten this excited 3 times already, and then later on decided to work on something different. It might be good to not focus on the big vision that much right now, and keep focusing on what comes next in the short term.”
Me: “Yes.. it has already happened a few times. But hey! I’ve been learning a lot, and I have to choose something to be working on. I’m only going to choose, it might as well be something which I believe has a big vision behind it. Whether it actually does? I’m not sure. I guess I will find out somehow. But I need to believe it.”
The last sentence seems to be one of the defining characteristics of entrepreneurs: we want to believe.
We are eternal optimists. Actually, it is more than that. We have to be eternal optimists.
The entrepreneurial journey is tough. It is a rollercoaster of a ride, and it would be difficult (if not impossible) to withstand the continual ups and downs without believing in ourselves, and believing in the vision. At times, that belief is all there is.
We are eternal optimists, but not eternal blind optimists.
The trick is to believe, and then forge ahead with eyes wide open, looking for the obstacles and market realities that will render the belief useless.
How do you manage this?
I don’t know.. I’m still figuring it all out. But I can tell you it certainly ain’t easy.