• Laurent Notin

Eat, Sleep, Be an entrepreneur, Repeat

In the article titled 5 Ways To Grow Grit, I was writing that entrepreneurship is a life game with an infinite number of levels.


I referred to entrepreneurship as being like construction that never ends. Hence, I was talking about the importance of cultivating grit, because it would help you move forward whenever the construction stops.


In this article, I want to insist on the fact that entrepreneurship is a life-long process. You're in for the long run. You will breathe it every single second of your life.


It’s like eat, sleep, be an entrepreneur, repeat. You know when it starts, but you never know when it ends. Chances are it will never end because you’re so addicted to it, you’re such a different type of human being that you wouldn’t know what else to do.


That is why being an entrepreneur is a calling. That is why it isn't for everybody.


The other aspect that you also need to understand is that success will not happen overnight if it ever happens.


Indeed, entrepreneurship is like watering a plant. First, you don’t see too much progress, but if you persist, if you continue to do it properly, feed it, and take proper measures to make sure it’s growing strong, eventually, the plant will blossom, and you will yield results.


How long will it take? Well, that depends on so many factors, from your product to your business skills and your luck, that it is impossible for me to give you an answer.


Entrepreneurship Isn't A Race


What I know is that success is never a straight line. What I also know is that many people make the mistake to compare themselves to others and try to achieve success based on what they see others achieve or what they hear others say about it. But everyone is unique. You aren't Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk or whomever you admire.


So, if you don’t want to be disappointed, instead of looking at success from a general perspective, I would suggest you take a moment and define what success would actually look like FOR you, today.


Your definition of success will evolve over time as your business grows and your environment evolves. That is perfectly fine. Because entrepreneurship is a journey.

So, you should treat it as such. Entrepreneurship isn't a race. I know so many entrepreneurs who move from one goal to the other as fast as they can, like their life depends on it. I get it: you want to be successful, fine, but at what costs? What is the point of running from one peak to the other without stopping to enjoy the view? It is like mountain climbers who would prepare all their life to climb Everest and once they reach the top, they won’t take a moment to look at what must be one of the best views in the world!


Learn To Sit On Your Ego


I know what you are going to tell me. If I don’t move fast, I may well lose that opportunity and get crushed by my competitors.


Fine. But if you move fast, you may well make mistakes along the way because you are rushing into it. And the results will be the same. You will be crushed by your competitors.


Plus, as I mentioned above, it isn't a race. It is an infinite game as Simon Sinek says. There are no winners or losers. You just create the race in your head. You decide you want to be a winner. But a winner of what exactly? The largest market shares? The entrepreneur of the year award? The best company of the year? The fastest growth of the year?


Don’t let your ego run the show.


You know, that opportunity, the one you are afraid of missing out on, will still be there tomorrow. Nothing will happen if you don’t reply to that email right now.


Yes, it is important to be fast, but it is more important to take the time to be fast.


Slow Down And Enjoy The View


My CrossFit coach always reminds us the following before we start a workout:


Slow is smooth. And smooth is fast.

In other words, if you go all out at the beginning of the workout, you will quickly burn out and you won’t be able to finish it. Better to go slow but never stops, and allow yourself to enjoy the workout even though it is hard and you are struggling.

So, slowing down and taking the time to enjoy your journey, not the destination, may well make you a more solid entrepreneur.

The journey is much longer, bigger, and more important than the destination. The journey is every day. Too many entrepreneurs are focused on 'I got to get to there', 'I got to get to that peak', and when they get to that peak, they naturally look at the next peak without stopping.


Again, what is the point?


A young and bright entrepreneur in his early 30s once asked me about the differences between my 30s and my 40s.


I always enjoy the challenge of a great question because it allows me to reflect.


I told him that, the main contrast compared to the younger me 12-15 years ago, is that I now feel more in control of my life.


I used to follow the flow, working, eating, sleeping, and repeating (partying too much too), jumping around from one place to another, from one task to another, without taking the time to enjoy the journey. I am talking both on a professional and personal level. I was moving at 150% all the time. I wasn't living the moment because I was too focused on the destination. Once I got where I wanted to be, I would set another goal, and so on.


Because of that, I missed out on many of the gifts life throws at you, such as enjoying the company of my kids or simply doing absolutely nothing for a while.


Today, being more in control means that I am able to remind myself to stop from time to time, look around me, be grateful for all I have, and refill my motivation bucket to continue my journey. Plus, it is a useful skill to have as a coach because I need to be present when I am in a coaching session with my clients.


Today, I understand the importance of the journey vs. the destination. It is a question of finding the right balance. Knowing when to push hard and when to slow down a little.


It is a question of keeping that accountability for yourself so you can work smarter and be more efficient.


So, here is a question for you: When was the last time you took a step back and enjoyed the view?

 

This article is an extract from my special podcast series The Entrepreneur Alphabet. Listen to the episodes on your favorite podcast channel or watch them on YouTube.

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