ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE LISTED THE THREE BIGGEST OBSTACLES TO ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS
I seem to be facing them all. Can I deal with them—is the question?
I won’t know until I have—is the answer
‘YELLOW STRIPES’ BY MY TALENTED PHOTOGRAPHER SISTER, LUCY AYETTEY
It is neither easy nor pleasant to face up to one’s inadequacies—let alone to admit them to others. That said, I no longer feel the need to live up to an image (self-image or otherwise) , but instead am much more concerned to improve my writing and character before I die.
But this blog is about my character.
No, I’m not just starting now—I have been a work in progress for quite some time—however I see no reason to stop just because I am five years into retirement age. In fact, I don’t intend to stop. I anticipate being stopped by not being alive.
How will I know that? Well, I guess having my body turn into a corpse will give me a hint.
After that happens, I look forward to my spirit being well out of it. I have no desire to be lowered into some hole in the ground and have earth shoveled on top of me—or to be still in my body when I am cremated (even if—being dead—I won’t feel anything). It seems likely to be a depressing experience—so, under those circumstances, I hope my spirit has the good sense to change its location—if I have a spirit.
I really don’t know whether I do or not, but I’ll be disappointed if I don’t (or I would be if I was then capable of such a feeling).
Of course, if there is life after death—something of a contradiction in terms I would have thought—then I shall continue trying to buff myself up to a higher standard (or maybe lower if I am in Hell).
In truth, I don’t think I have the right characteristics to be an ideal entrepreneur. Let me draw your attention to the qualification. ‘Ideal’ is an aspiration.
I certainly have some entrepreneurial qualities, in that I am good at spotting opportunities, am something of a visionary, am prepared to take risks, and certainly have endurance—but, on the other hand, I seem to lack what I tend to think of as’ emotional resilience.’
That means I don’t roll with the punches as well as I would like—which is what you need to do if you are an entrepreneur (because you will get punched—that’s guaranteed). I care too much, feel too deeply, and get hurt too easily. I can look tough enough—and even be tough when the situation requires it—but I’m really a very gentle man, and have certainly become gentler over the years.
I regret that at times—because society doesn’t favor the gentle—but it’s my nature, and at heart, I wouldn’t have it otherwise. ‘Gentle,’ as far as I am concerned, is a good thing. I store it on my word-rack along with ‘kind’ and ‘decent.’
A word-rack is a sort of gun-rack for words. It doesn’t have to be locked. Writers are particularly fond of them.
It has also been put to me that I am too honest. I think the lady in question really meant ‘naïve.’As best I could tell, it was not a compliment.
She has a point. Whereas, I certainly don’t think of myself as a paragon of perfection, the prevailing standards in our current business culture seem to be sinking so low that I’m far from sure I’m sinking at an adequate pace.
Even lowering one’s standards is competitive!
In truth, I’m trying to raise my standards—and particularly to always do what I will say I will do, or else communicate why I can’t. I don’t always succeed with the latter—but seem to be getting better (with help). I find that heartening—though I have a way to go yet.
The purpose of life, as far as I am concerned is to improve one’s character. In my case, you can add “mainly through writing.” As far as I am concerned, my life and my writing are practically one and the same.
As for always doing what I say I will do, I have found that virtually impossible where one is dependent on others. As a society we seem to be developing unreliability into an art. That said, there are some terrific people out there—though mostly not in the right places.
I am something of a perfectionist—which rather goes with writing—and I do worry more than is productive, but my greatest fault as an entrepreneur is that I’m not good at managing my fears. Indeed, I think of myself as a cowardly lion (or perhaps just plain cowardly—I claim no leonine qualities)..
But one of the prime purposes of this project is to terrify myself so much that I have no choice but to manage my fears—and persevere.
I have no way back—and no way out. I have, so to speak, put a gun to my own head—quite deliberately. I have taken myself hostage much as in Blazing Saddles. Damnably ingenious!
But, is it working?
It’s taking longer than I would like—and much longer than others would prefer—but it just might be (despite numerous setbacks—which practically all seem to have brought a benefit in the end).
It’s certainly a great adventure—and a story to match (and I love both). I expect the Green Knight to show up shortly.
VOR words 907.