There are many quotes about entrepreneurship and what it means to become a success. But there’s one in particular that stood out to me from my friend, Zach Coelius:
“The crazy simple secret to massive success in Silicon Valley is actually incredibly easy: Help People. That’s it…”
To me, this speaks volumes of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. It comes down to the core of how can I help people, and finding out what problems affect them, and how you can fix it for the world. In essence, what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur is passion.
The source of the passion I’m referring to may be different than what you’ve heard before. When you have a passion, you’ll find it’s worth all the blood, sweat, and tears caused by the inevitable ups and downs you’ll face. When you look up the word passion, you’ll find its root word, patior, which means: “Expressing the idea of being moved to action where there’s pain and suffering.”
When you have a passion for something, it’s not about how much you love it.. It’s about committing to the highest level of sacrifice in service to others. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do as a business—help others. And yes, that means helping your customers, which has the potential to do good for your fellow humans on this planet we share. If you’re not doing that, then your company will go belly up faster than Jonah being swallowed by a giant whale.
As an entrepreneur trying to build a business, you’re going to be confronted with many different challenges. These challenges will require you to sacrifice and stretch and grow yourself, which can feel painful. But I’ve got news for you – get used to it! That is not going away. You are often going to feel in over your head, or super uncomfortable. So what should you do then? Embrace the suck.
As Michael Fisher learned when he was a young recruit in the MCRD in San Diego “To embrace the suck means to have discipline.” He says: “Having that mental toughness to see the hard work through to the end. You continue with the hard-charging attitude of being able to keep moving forward and never give up.”
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable (Like a Navy Seal)
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Like I said, as an entrepreneur, you’re going to be uncomfortable all the time. So take a lesson from the Navy Seals and learn to be comfortable with the pain, with being outside your comfort zone.
As an entrepreneur, you have to remain focused during times of discomfort so you can think clearly and find the right solution. So here are some of the tips the Navy SEALs use that can be applied to entrepreneurship:
Focus on the here (not the horizon): Rather than focusing on the big picture, keep your mind set on the now and what needs immediate attention.
Focus outside yourself (no internal bashing): Don’t think about yourself and your dire situation. Keep your eyes on the mission.
Try to find humor in the situation: It’s a great way to lighten the mood and promote team bonding.
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable: Don’t focus on removing the discomfort. Accept it and find ways to get through it.
Take care of yourself: Don’t beat yourself up about the problem. Make sure you’re eating, resting, and taking breaks (short distractions can be helpful).
Remind Yourself Why You Do What You Do
At the end of the day, you have to remember who you serve and why it’s important. You have to fall in love with the problem you’re trying to solve, and fall in love with trying to solve it for as many people as possible. In order to keep pushing forward with your passion, you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable – in the knowledge that you’re helping others, which is what true success is all about.