|This is a guest post by Sarah Robinson and is part of The Entrepreneur’s Journey series.
Sarah Robinson is President and CEO of Sarah Robinson Co. She is a seasoned business coach, strategist, advisor and speaker who helps business owners set their companies apart from the pack. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Sarah advises her international clients on how to build a thriving, successful community, how to increase social media effectiveness, and how to develop a remarkable online and offline business presence.Her expertise in personal and business change was developed through many years of working with and providing coaching to other entrepreneurs and start-up non-profits, where she honed her ability to “turn around” thousands of struggling individuals and organizations.
I Never Wanted To Be An Entrepreneur
Really. When I was in college and even in my early career, I never thought “what I really want to do is own my own business.” I didn’t think it was in my DNA.
I clearly wasn’t paying close enough attention to myself.
At every job I ever I had, I was “the troublemaker”. Following the rules and playing office politics made me crazy. Bosses had trouble knowing how to manage me because I wouldn’t play the game, patiently waiting to rise through the ranks. I just tried to knock the ranks out of my way.
Taking The Step
Even with all that evidence piled up, it took a literal miracle for me to step into the world of entrepreneurship. I had a baby. The idea of putting this precious thing into daycare so I could go work for some idiot (yes, I’m pretty sure those were my exact words to my husband) was too distasteful. So, I did what every one does in these circumstances. I started a consulting practice.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Since then, I’ve owned several consulting and coaching practices. I sold two of them before embarking on my two current projects, Escaping Mediocrity and Fierce Loyalty. People often comment that I can’t seem to stick with one thing and I always reply, Well, of course not. That would be completely boring.”
My theory is that we are always evolving. Our skills evolve. Our interests evolve. So it seems natural that our businesses should evolve too. For me, that’s what keeps being an entrepreneur so interesting.
Is inevitable. I actual hate failing, in spite of all the positive spins everyone tries to put on it. In spite of my negative feelings about it, it is where the rubber meets the road. When I fail (yes that is present tense), I have to decide if I’m still committed to this journey that I’m on. I have to summon whatever I can from deep down inside me. I have to choose to keep going. I have to make a way.
And that’s what entrepreneurs do best. They make a way where others see no way.
The best thing I ever did for myself was get clear on my personal definition of success. Until I did that, I was aiming at other peoples definition and it felt all wrong. In fact, when I got that kind of success, I wasn’t happy about it. I thought “This is it?”
So I sat down with myself and wrote out my version of success. What it looked like in the short term and in the long term. When I start feeling like I’m not measuring up by the world’s standards, I pull out my definition and remember that I’m doing just fine.
The world is a crazy place right now. Everything feels turned upside down. What worked yesterday doesn’t work today. Markets that existed yesterday don’t exist today. It feels a bit like the Wild West.
This is also the time when entrepreneurs shine. We are a nimble breed. We can move quickly and react with cat-like reflexes. We spot trends before anyone else. We learn while we’re on the move.
We will survive and thrive. We are unflinching.