This is a guest post from JB Adkins, serial entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Skyride, the Uber for flight in Los Angeles. JB talked about purpose-driven tenacity on episode 75 of the BoldIdea Podcast.
I’ve been through everything. Literally. Married super young, evicted, homeless, anxiety attacks, depression, payday loans, broke, 3 jobs at once, etc…But, none of it lasted. I’m here, alive and thriving, excited as ever about my startup(s) and the amazing individuals that I have the privilege of meeting and working with on a daily basis.
Along the way, I’ve learn that there are five things you need to do to stay sane as an entrepreneur:
- Know That It Gets Better
We all face lulls in life, some more serious than others. But, if you talk to people who’ve experienced some degree of success and find out their backstories, it wasn’t always pretty. I’ll use myself as an example. I remember the time that I received an eviction notice (and was subsequently evicted) a month after my first kid was born. Had a small aerial tour business and couldn’t afford to keep it or myself/family afloat. One thing led to another and after a series of negotiations with our landlord, they finally gave me the boot. I felt (and was) a complete failure at the time and literally fell into a major depression. That voice in the front of my mind insistently rekindled emotions of fear, negativity, and doubt about my ability as a husband, father, and provider. People look at me now and don’t ever believe that I dealt with a level of depression that serious before, but it lasted nearly 2 years! Two whole years of stagnation and wasted ideas, all due to the fact that I was throwing a pity party for myself and felt as if it was the end.
Keep your head peeled to the sky and remember that everything is temporary. And, that your mentality and intestinal fortitude is the true you, not your circumstance(s).
- Don’t Listen To The Voice
You know that little voice we talked about? Inside of your head? The one that kindly reminds you how much of a failure you are? The one that keeps you on Facebook until 1 o’clock in the morning comparing your life to all of those that you perceive to be far more successful and smarter than you. The one that tells you you’ll never make it out of your current circumstance or situation. The one that tells you that you’ll never experience life in abundance? Snatch that voice out of your head right now, wrap your hands tightly around its neck, and tell it to go to hell and never come back. Because, that’s where it belongs. That voice isn’t you. That voice is there as a means to oppose and contrast the true you.
The you who is the innovator, the idea woman, the entrepreneur, the trailblazer. The pioneer. That’s who you were authored and created to be. The change maker. So, get to know yourself. Understand your identity and purpose and maintain utmost confidence in that. And then…GO DO YOU!
- Surround Yourself with the Right People
And the follow up to this is, surround yourself with right people. Even if they’re not as cool, hip, and important as you’d like, ensure that they maintain a certain level of character. I cannot stress enough the importance of having the right people in your life who believe in your dreams, your purpose, your ideas, and help catalyze those gifts and talents that you possess by speaking into your life through encouragement. No matter how tough or resilient we think we may be at times, we, as humans, were wired to need each other. Not to simply survive solo. Having people in your life with integrity, a backbone, and no baggage is pinnacle to your success as an innovator, entrepreneur, and idea machine. You must surround yourself with individuals who are above reproach, meaning that they push you towards excellence. Not the other way around.
- Stop Caring About People’s Opinions
I know firsthand how tough this one is. This has been an area in which I’ve struggled with profusely for the greater part of my life. In fact, just recently have I learned to mange this extension of me in a much more effective way, thanks to my wife. I used to obsess over what people thought of me. So much so, that it made me sick. Literally, sick. I spent hours pondering what certain individuals thought of me and some of the failures and mistakes that I experienced, as well as the way that people perceived me on social media, many of whom, I had no personal connection with in the first place.
The only way to be liberated seemed to adopt that apathetic approach to other people’s opinions and perceptions and simply focus on embracing those who loved, believed, and thought the highest of me. I’m not saying that you should neglect your brand, image, sense of professionalism, or dignity. What I am saying is that you should focus on the people in your life (or, the people you want to be in your life) who matter, and eradicate those who don’t. Simple. Show off for the people who have the power to help you get to the level that you desire in life, and eliminate the people who are sent to weigh or bring you down.
- Be Grateful.
Let’s face it, we’re all striving to reach a certain level or potential in our lives, yet only a handful of us have actually tasted the full manifestation of what “that” is. In the meantime, be grateful for where you are, what you have, and the people in your life who are supposed to be there. More importantly, be grateful for you. All of the skills, idea(s), innovation, determination, ambition, and fortitude that you possess are unique to you and you literally have the power to birth that vision that you carry on the inside of you. Be grateful that you have the ability to think clearly and thus make your entrepreneurial ideas a reality! Remain grateful for the little things and strive to make a difference where you are. Remember, it’s the little things that build character and count towards changing the world for the greater. It all starts with you.
A version of this post originally appeared on superpreneur.me.