The Emotional Roller-Coaster of Entrepreneurship


Everyone is eventually taught to how to get used to the steady. The nice and slow. The easily anticipated. We’re not really born steady. We’re born full of emotion and curiosity. With an endless notion of wonder. Childlike wonder was so common to all of us at one time it was synonymous with air and whatever other cliche you can think of. It was like that too. We bounced around until something came along and taught us we had gone too far. Many times that boundary came in the way of a parent – or pain – or pain from a parent. We learned how far we could bounce. Eventually that circumference of bounceful blissdom shrinks over time as we get older. We learn how our decisions get surrounded by the boundaries of cash, debt, and avoiding resentment. We find the steady flow that causes the least friction. And we keep doing that – over and over – quietly – in repeat – in the quiet anticipation of hope for things to change for the better. Many of us cry in silence – or as my wife would put it, Drake themselves to death.

The point is this unfulfilling repeated behavior pattern is a learned one. It’s not who you really are. It’s not any of us. We just don’t know any differently – and we take comfort in the structure we’ve built for ourselves. We’ve been taught to take comfort in the false security of the steady instead of learning how to embrace the full range of our emotional experiences.

What if you never learned the boundaries you were taught as a kid? How to act. When to behave. What to value. Who to love. How to love or hate someone else. Who would you be? What would you be afraid of then? What would value today? Who the fuck really knows, but entrepreneurs get to push those boundaries of their lives – of themselves – every single day.

I believe the reason many more people aren’t entrepreneurs is because they’re afraid of themselves. They don’t have a clue as to the true range of them as a person. They’re afraid to find out. We’re taught to fear the extremes – and some are worth paying extra too – but we find ourselves in the extremes we’re willing to inhabit on a consistent basis. It’s your extreme love or hate for a person, process, or individual that makes you who you are. Entrepreneurs get to find out through the emotional valleys and peaks that come along with the ride.

Some days you aren’t sure if you’re on the right track, and all the components of your business seem to be falling out from under you. You question your own motives. You question your skills, you question yourself and your fortitude.

And you go do the shit again tomorrow.

Eventually, through the shitty valley days, one day you get success. A new contract – a new client – a new partnership – a new key sale – a new publishing – a new deal – an old customer returns. Could be anything, and because nothing breeds success like success, another one comes, then another – and another you weren’t even counting on. And you hit a mental high Colorado couldn’t touch. It’s euphoric – and you bask in it. And you know the moment was never possible without the valleys.

And you do the shit again tomorrow.

You learn more – and you do the shit again tomorrow.

That’s the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. It’s you learning the peaks and valleys in the process. It’s falling in love with the process. The process of learning what extremes you’re capable of living in.  It’s not a comfortable process – and it’s why so many fail. They can’t keep up the process. It’s too mentally and emotionally taxing. But I read that success is not common, and therefore not for the common man.

In real life, I really hate roller-coasters. Harbingers of death they are.



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