One of my favorite accounts on social media is @dailyzen on Twitter. It posts a lot of short blog posts and quotes that are great for calming and centering the mind in the middle of a chaotic moment. Only recently did I come across this post and find out that the writer of Daily Zen is also an entrepreneur.
The post is a wonderful piece on how he had previously considered “Business” and “Spirit” to be separate sides of the self. He writes: “I’ve come to learn that proper business is like anything else in life: it’s an extension of the spirit.” I fully recommend you read the post in its entirety, but with this quote in mind, here is my take on Daily Zen’s 5 lessons after one year of being an entrepreneur.
80% is showing up. In the beginning, often it feels like a great idea is everything you need. Unfortunately, an idea is only the beginning. In reality, the vast majority of what is required is a lot of legwork. It’s long hours spent coordinating the boring but necessary, doing the hard, unglamorous behind the scenes work that makes your wheels turn.
Everything is done incrementally. This is a huge one for me. I find myself talking about this fact with clients of all stripes. How do you eat an elephant? I’m sure you’ve heard this before but it’s the exactly the same way you eat an apple: one bite at a time. Even breaking things up further can be beneficial to the way you feel about the tasks you accomplish.
Pride will kill you. Surely you’ve heard the saying that your health is everything. But I don’t think quite as many people realize how intertwined our inner lives are with our overall health. There are many reasons why a founder or entrepreneur might develop an inflated sense of pride, but none of them are worth the cost. Be humble. You will be better for it.
Time is your most valuable asset. It’s hard to overstate just how crucial time is. What you choose to do with your time literally creates your reality. It creates your thoughts and actions and YOU are in control of it. Many don’t realize this until they start working for themselves. It can be a powerful realization.
Satisfaction comes from within. As the writer says, “Trade your greed in for curiosity.” Achieving more status or more stuff or whatever else you fantasize about will not result in your ultimate satisfaction. You must create that for yourself by finding out who you are, what kinds of activities bring you joy, and then filling your day with them.
photo credit: Koudai-ji in Spring 春の高台寺 via photopin (license)