“Holding onto Anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha
Having grown up abroad to Diplomatic parents, I am often comfortable in loneliness. When you move every 3 years, and grow up in the strange Diplomatic world, extreme loneliness is the norm, I find some solace in that loneliness, which is a whole other book in crazy, but there you have it. No one will ever tell you that being an entrepreneur can be the loneliest experience, but it is. Andrew and I had this idea that in only gets lonely at the top, how could it possibly be lonely at the very start, when we had nothing, but everything to lose. Andrew and I were not prepared for the reactions we were going to get from family and friends when we announced we were quitting our jobs, and starting our own business, especially when we had a toddler in tow, everyone thought we were nuts. People were actually rooting for us to fail, and fall quickly, hard, and then come to our senses. The looks, and the comments were all incredibly negative. At first, it made our backs go up, and we got angry, and in one case, we just had to cut all contact from some people. It was a point in our time, that we just had to push away every bit of negativity, let go of our anger towards them, in order to start on our path, and stay on that path. The cold hard facts are that you don’t make any money the first 3 years of business. Just don’t be afraid of it, and don’t be afraid to just have tunnel vision, and set your sights on something you need to do. The loneliness can be extreme and deafening at first, but once you get your footing, you realise, just how positive you can become, and how negative your past life really was.
You have to learn to embrace the loneliness, because the loneliness actually makes you a stronger entrepreneur. I never realized that the extreme loneliness I had felt moving, and coping with culture shock, actually prepared me for the day I had to cut off those around me, in order to embrace my chosen future. When I look back that specific time, I realized my past career was meeting my basic needs, giving me food and shelter, but it had left me with a hole, I never felt fulfilled. All those times I watched my Father in a reception, golf course or in a dinner party; He was whole, he had an intense drive and deep sense of satisfaction from his work, I wanted to find that.
I think I discovered just how negative I had become in the government world. Some people like my Father and those that I worked with, felt happy and fulfilled, but it just wasn’t for me. Joining my life partner in this amazing journey becoming an entrepreneur, we were actually creating an adventure to becoming better people, better parents, but becoming more empathetic, and more positive. The more positive we were becoming, the easier it was to navigate and influence our relationships.