As entrepreneurs, our journey is almost never complete. There is this constant urge to do the next thing. There is a new product to launch, a new market to capture, a new competitor to quell. A new revenue goal to achieve, a new milestone to reach.
And if we do sell off our existing company and cash out, there is always another company to build!
In this ever changing and evolving goals, the key is for us to enjoy the journey as the reward in and of itself. If we don’t enjoy the journey for itself, this becomes one of the most difficult and the toughest job in the world.
Now, this is easy to say but difficult to do. So, how do we ensure that we enjoy the journey:
- Purpose: Know why we started on this journey. Keep it written on a small visiting card and in your pocket. When things get difficult, as they will, take it out and read it. This sense of purpose and the “why” gives us the determination and grit needed to survive and overcome the current challenge (whatever it is).
- Priming: One other way that we can continue to enjoy the journey is by priming ourselves to enjoy the journey. When we get up in the morning and tell ourselves that this is an amazing ride that we are on and are one day closer to our success, it primes our brain to look for everything that corroborates this world view.
- People: Hire people whom you would love to take home and have fun with. The entrepreneurial journey is tough by itself, don’t make it harder by hiring people who are axxholes and who bring a lot of angst and negativity in your life. Be extra careful to hire people who bring in energy and are also fun to be with. THis doesn’t mean that you don’t look for competency. This means that just being competent is not enough. That is just the baseline for someone to quality to get considered.
- Progress: Another thing that most of us fail to do is to see the progress we have made. There is solid research that indicates that if we are able to see the progress we make on a daily basis, we are in a much better position to persevere. You could do this by designing the day so that there are a lot of tiny wins that you see through out the day. These are small little challenges that you need to overcome and once you do, taking a moment and celebrating them.
- Play: At times we get so focused on our work that we push not only ourself but our teams to the brim of breakdown. The best way to avoid this is to schedule play time wth our team. There are two ways to do this. First is that we block certain time blocks in a week or once in two weeks which are designated play times. This is when we go out and play with our teams and create a easy, relaxed environment so that we can all unwind. The second way is to bring in elements of play in everything that we do. It could come up in the way we brand our company, product, the way we run our meetings, the way we engage with our customers/partners, the way we hire, etc. You get the flow. Play becomes a thread in our culture. THe first way is easier to implement than the second one. I would prefer a combination of both. I would love to work and lead a company where play is encouraged in every form and fashion and then there is also a designated date/time specifically to unwind as a team together.
It is important for all of us to celebrate the journey much more than the moment when we achieve the goals that we set out to achieve. In this post I talk about a few ways that we can make the journey more fun and celebrated. There can be a lot more ways that we can do this. What is critical here is that we need to make it intentional to enjoy the journey. It is extremely easy to get bogged down in the whirlwind that is running an enterprise to lose sight of the importance to enjoy the journey. So, as a leader it is important to let others in our team know that it is their responsibility to point it out to us when we lose track of this important insight, so we can get back on track and start enjoying the journey again.
Entrepreneurship is fun, challenging and immensely rewarding (emotionally, financially, psychologically, spiritually and socially). Let’s make sure we enjoy our ride!