For most people, entrepreneurship is an attractive, fun, and exciting ride that they can’t wait to take on. It’s an adventure from whatever side of life’s canyon that they’re on to the lush grass that lies on the other side. Some people believe that they’ll get to the other side via the Evil Knievel strategy. Jumping out of their present situation, and taking one massive risk that will pay off in a big way. Other’s believe it will be a scenic helicopter ride that they will love to tell their friends about along the way. In all actuality, the journey of entrepreneurship to traverse the canyon to success is a lot more like walking a tight rope.
Though it can be exciting to experience, it’s also the most precise, difficult feat necessary to get to the other side of a goal. Finding a way to set yourself up to reach your long term goal while focusing on the very next step towards progress is the definitive entrepreneurial success strategy. Like wind, fear of heights, and a bouncy tight rope, there are many things that you will have to account for in order to maintain balance, and not fall off purpose. Here are 3 factors that you will need to set your sights on in order to successfully walk your entrepreneurial tight rope.
I think of this like the wind. The shiny new thing syndrome is when you are attracted to events, opportunities, and tasks that are not in alignment with your goal. It can be easy to dive into the myriad of distractions that are blown our way every day. Turn-key income opportunities, new ideas for a service or product, and researching an entirely new skill will knock you off YOUR rope. Though those things may all be great, they won’t be shiny enough if you are CONFIDENT that you want to get to your chosen destination. Stay the course, and remember your end game.
2.) Security Siren
2014 was my first year of full-time entrepreneurship. It was a test in focus, prioritization, and more than anything resolve. If you are going to keep your focus on the next step, you will inevitably have the chance to see the ground below in the distance. This fear of heights can be paralyzing and force you to consider turning back or falling off your path. I can’t count how many times I heard the sirens of “go back where it’s safe” ring in my head from both my own internal speaker and that of those who care about me. This isn’t a negative voice. This doesn’t mean to cut these people off or try to “prove them wrong”, but it is your opportunity to pave a new course to a destination that they will love to come visit you at. The security siren is your signal to lock in on what’s next because, with RESOLVE, there is no turning back and the adversity begins to fade into the scenery.
3.) The Elastic Response
This is simply an application of physics. When a rope-walker steps onto the tight rope, it will always bend and try to come back to being straight. Every time you step out on the line to actually create a new path for yourself there will be resistance. This elasticity can kick in as age-old habits coming back, extended periods of laziness or unproductive space, and even writer’s block. You are stretching yourself to new peaks, and the unfamiliar territory will almost surely incite an elastic response to what you’re used to. To avoid the snapback, take note of what your “rabbit holes” are. These are the things that you indulge in that make you most comfortable. For me it is video games, I can lose hours at a time sinking into a couch, and creating massive inertia when I plug into this rabbit hole so I have distanced myself from it entirely. By identifying the things that make you most content and comfortable, you can use them to stay on course while not allowing them to take over and drive you all the way off of it.
Walking the walk is a difficult feat to accomplish, but those who are able to stay balanced and keep their eyes on the prize are the stuff of legends. I’m sure that, with the right goal in place, any of you can walk your tight rope to your dreams.