If you’re struggling, there’s a good chance that you’re taking a common piece of advice out of context.
Over the last few years, phrases like Elon Musk’s, “Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss” have spread like wildfire around the ecosystem of aspiring entrepreneurs. These first-timers begin to think that everything about starting their company is going to be hard. They start to see their business through narrow tunnel vision, like: “I need to make cold calls even though I don’t enjoy it.”
No, you don’t. Building a business does not need to suck. Don’t let these vague generalizations stop you. There’s more than one way to do whatever you want to do.
Everyone has a natural alignment: some people love interacting with others. Others love building systems. Some like to create experiences. Others are very methodical. Some are analytical. And so on. All of these alignments can be gained over time, but few people capitalize on using the alignments that come naturally to them.
Here’s the thing: as an entrepreneur, you will need to struggle – but the struggle is supposed to be against self-doubt. It’s about fighting the loneliness. It’s braving the emotional downs. It’s finding a way to devour your own fear.
But the struggle is not supposed to be fighting the operations of your own business.
The operations should excite you when you climb out of bed. That’s the reason you’re an entrepreneur in the first place – because you don’t want to dread working.
You used to do this when you were a small child. You were healthier because you enjoyed the process of playing outside – you never made the conscious decision to “stay healthy”. You enjoyed playing an instrument because it was fun to make sounds, not because you wanted to finish a song without making a single mistake. You loved to make cookies with your mother because you got to eat the cookie dough – not because you specifically wanted to have cookies for dessert.
This is your secret advantage – this is what will make entrepreneurship easier. If you’re naturally an edgy artist, use your edge to differentiate yourself. If you dread the idea of interacting with customers in person, run a business that allows you to build relationships with them elsewhere. Do what feels natural to you rather than fighting against the things you hate.
There’s nothing more freeing than acting towards something you genuinely want to do. When you align your business with your own passions, you’ll experience pleasure from its day-to-day operations rather than pain. You begin to have fun, your head becomes clearer, and the end result suddenly matters less.
Regardless of what you’re motivated by – helping people, making money, having prestige – know that it will come as a result of the process. So stop fighting yourself – just do what you want to do, and let the good things follow.