Oct. 15, 2010
Total Distance for Trip: approx. 123 miles
Current Location: Philadelphia
I spent most of today working on scheduling speaking opportunities at schools. It’s strange to me: My message might be the most relevant and important message that administrators could bring into their schools, but that doesn’t mean they will. When I call someone to schedule a speech, I’m interrupting their normal routine. I’m a distraction – maybe even a nuisance! You have to go through countless phone calls, voicemails, and emails, but it’s worth it to get that one opportunity.
It’s a hallmark of entrepreneurs that we get bored easily, and we have notoriously short attention spans… This can be good and bad, as it allows us to think creatively and outside the box. Our enthusiasm for projects at the beginning enables us to produce incredible results at a seemingly impossible rate. We hate red tape and find creative and sometimes devious ways to cut through it.
The major drawback of a typical entrepreneurial mindset is that the lulls between successes can feel impossibly long. Where others might be fine just taking it slow and waiting for the next round of insanity, 18 hour work days, and fast paced living, we go crazy. Too much time between periods of success can drain our motivation, and in some cases, our faith in the project. It makes sense: Things move so fast when they are moving that it seems like life is in slow-motion when they’re not.
One of the most important things that successful entrepreneurs learn is that the slow times, the lulls, and the times of doubt will come. The only way to make sure our dreams come to fruition is to learn to push through those difficult periods. Sometimes, it’s actually smart to quit! It takes maturity and discipline to admit that a project is going nowhere and needs to be let go. Wisdom is in knowing the difference!
I don’t know where you are in following your dreams, but I will tell you this: Learning to know when to give up on a project or keep it alive comes with experience, but you should never give up on the deeper dreams that drive you. They define you, and letting them go would mean letting part of yourself die. What could be worse?