Running the emotional rollercoaster

Original by Stuart Skorman. Edited for use in this blog about emotions in Entrepreneurship.

Starting a business often comes with strong emotions.

Joy is often present when starting a business. Call it happiness, exhilaration, or excitement. All can be helpful, but joy shouldn’t be the base of your emotional foundation. Ultimately business decisions need to be grounded in logic, not elation. 

Greed is also inherent to starting a business. Human nature is to want. Greed is motivating, but if it consumes you, it will cloud your decision-making and set you up for failure. 

Passion certainly drives most successful entrepreneurs. Few people would bother starting a business if it weren’t for passion. As with all other emotions, passion must be brought under control. No one succeeds by letting passion run wild. 

Last but not least is desperation. Most people don’t equate being desperate with being an entrepreneur, but I find the two inseparable. Starting a business is often an act of desperation. Entrepreneurs are desperate for success and accomplishment. Desperation pushes us to take huge risks, leave comfort and security behind, and allow a business to consume our lives.

The ability to harness one’s ego and emotions are just two must-have qualities of an entrepreneur. 

Here are some other lessons I’ve learned: 

Don’t be afraid to ask for support 

Because starting a business is an emotional rollercoaster, and you need support. It helps to surround yourself with people who can tell you not to worry about your mistakes. You also need people to tell you to stop being a jerk or to slow down. We all need someone to give us a hard time occasionally. We all need outside perspectives. Asking for help is not being weak; it’s being smart. 

Be prepared to give up your life. 

They say, “Start your own business, and be your own boss.” It doesn’t work like that. The truth is really the opposite: when you start a business, you become a slave. A business brings constant pressures, risks, and fears. When you start a business, there are no days off; it is always with you. 

Learn from your mistakes. 

Sure, this is a familiar refrain, but it’s one you better know how to sing. My success is rooted in my ability to recognize my blunders, learn from them, and move past them. I hope you’ll learn from some of my errors and discover how to learn from yours. 

Most important, choose your business based on who you are.

Choosing the right business means knowing yourself. There are many paths to success, and no two are alike. 

As an entrepreneur, picking a business is the most significant decision you’ll ever make. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Why are you starting a business? 
  • Why are you starting this particular business? 

The answers to these questions will help you chart your destiny. 

Being a serial entrepreneur suits my personality, but it’s not suitable for everyone. The start-up world is messy, risky, and intense. If you like structure, logic, comfort, and predictability or prefer to focus on one task at a time, the start-up world may not be for you. 


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