When I quit my job to become an entrepreneur–I don’t like that phrase, because I’ve always been an entrepreneur; I just used to wear an employee mask–people at the company I was working for took it in different ways:
- They were excited for me and gave me encouragement and even some advice.
- They were upset to see me go but shared the bitter-sweet emotions with me.
- They seemed to show no emotion and instead explained in a calculated fashion why I was going to fail.
This post is about the #3s. Being an entrepreneur is hard enough: We wear tons of hats with regards to the work we do; we juggle multiple customers, vendors, and other interested parties; and we must motivate ourselves to get out of bed in the morning when it’s hard or we just don’t know what we need to do.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who want to make it even harder for us. They are the exception, but they sure can make an impact if we let them. So, here’s how you make them have a positive impact…
There are two ways to have the tallest building in town: You can dare to fail, sweat, and build day after day until yours is the tallest. Or, you can tear all the other buildings down.
This is no different than the schoolyard bully. Sure, their lives have gotten more complex, and the schoolyard takes on different shapes now, but the concept remains the same: Some people bring down others to make themselves feel better.
There is a specific hater that I remember when I was leaving my job. He explained to me how he had done something similar to what I was going to do for a couple of years, but then he had to get a “real job.” He viewed his attempt as a failure.
Now, let’s be very clear here: This was before I even left, before I had any real amount of success or failure, and he still took about 30 minutes to shit on my plan. It didn’t matter what I had said; the response would always be that it wasn’t going to work, so I shouldn’t even try.
Here’s the psychology of what’s going on: Most people who fail… at anything want to blame some external factor, not themselves. If there are some distant people who are succeeding, they can easily be explained as “lucky” or “outliers.”
But just my desire to make this leap to entrepreneurship was an affront to this guy’s ego. If I found any amount of success, it would make him feel like more of a failure. This is unfortunate, but it’s kind of a “him problem.”
If you experience this kind of unprovoked, unwarranted hate, know that the other person is just coming from a place of insecurity. It actually has very little to do with us. The more humble we can be–especially recognizing that we will ALL endure failures as entrepreneurs–the better we’ll do.
Part of me is still pissed off at this guy. Part of me feels bad for his kids if he raises them with this mentality. But most of me just doesn’t care. It’s another bump in the road, and my eyes are looking ahead.
I want to build the tallest building in town. Or, at least one with a damn good view.
What about you?