As of this March, I have been an entrepreneur for 5 years of my life, I run a full-service digital marketing agency out of Montreal called Cap.Taime. The journey has been full of ups and downs, lows and highs, light and hell.
The journey was nothing that I could have prepared for. Yet the lessons I learned along the way have shaped who I am as a person right now.
Truth is that actions and achievements fade with time, but character stays. And the character that you develop by being an entrepreneur will change how you deal with everything.
Through nights of hardships, these are the 5 lessons and facts that kept me going.
1. Rejection is not easy
I got rejected a few times, but you must stick with it. The time will come. It does not have to be now.
Sometimes moments are so disappointing that I had to say it out loud to myself “I know its hard,”
“I know it hurts”, “I know it is not easy”.
Nothing worthwhile is easy. You must remind yourself that every successful person out there is a person that faced failure, sometimes catastrophic failure. The only reason they ended up on top is because they kept at it. They learned and continued.
Here is the truth, we are afraid. We fear failure. But it is not really failure we are afraid of; we are afraid of pain.
It is the pain that will drive us forward and propel us.
You find yourself at the age of 30 something, feeling like a complete failure. The truth is you cannot start looking for excuses. This is not the time to look for why is Steve successful and I am not? This not the time to give up. We all go through hard times; we all go through patches of mud and dirt. We all suffer. We all go through failure. It is difficult and you must figure out what your path will be.
This is when you build your character.
You must remember that it is not an easy path. Sometimes it will get worse before it gets better.
You need to be able to take some disappointment in life! Sometimes things do not go well, and that is ok. You must roll with the punches and hope that you will end up on top.
Success is perseverance.
You watch these videos on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. You watch them and you see them giving entrepreneurial advice, for people to make the leap from 9-5 to live the “vida loca” of the entrepreneur.
It is funny that you rarely hear them say anything about sacrifice.
Any successful entrepreneur out there, knows what 17-hour days look like, they know that before you can call yourself successful you have to put in sacrifice, you must sacrifice today for tomorrow. You must sacrifice now for then.
You have fallen many times; you have closed the door on a part of your social life. You must forget about rest for the year. You might see your friends traveling and living their life. You will have to sit through the tough times and sacrifice.
4. The lies
There are two types of lies that you hear on the way to success. There are the lies that you say to yourself and the lies that you hear from others.
The lie that we tell ourselves all the time, is that we are not ready and that one day we will be ready.
We bought into this lie that one day we will change. That one day we will do something different. That one day we will make things work.
The truth is that change happens now.
The moment we believe that lie we are acting like a victim.
5. Show up!
You must always show up. You cannot be afraid; you cannot get cold feet. You cannot back out,
no matter how afraid you are, no matter how tired you are.
You do not want to live your days saying what if, what if I showed up, what if I took that tough client, what if I stood my ground, what if I did something uncomfortable?
Do not let remorse destroy you. Face the fears and realize that it is not that big. Remember that you will become the person you want to be.
It is the perseverance to show up no matter what the result might be.
Nothing has built my character more than being an entrepreneur, and it will continue to shape who I am in the future.
Remember that success is not what you have in the bank account, it is the relationship that you have with yourself. It is the ability to look yourself in the eye every night and know that you did your best and you did not let yourself down.