It’s the entrepreneurial noise, don’t worry it’s normal.
This is what I say to my clients when I hear them begin to express the woes of overwhelm or the utterances of wanting to throw in the towel. It’s just the entrepreneurial noise and it’s a normal part of a maverick’s life. Maverick, who me? I hear, unspoken amid the uproar.
When earlier today, it got the better of me, I couldn’t coach, suggest or insist myself out of it. I just wished it would shut the heck up while I grumbled and grouched around the day carrying out my tasks. I completely wanted to ditch the to dos and the new business venture with Menu Next Door and shield myself from it all along with the stormy weather on this June afternoon in London.
I read this poem on camera today. It was by Pablo Neruda, a searing cautionary tale, despite the beauty of the diction and my envy of his syntax. The poem opens, ‘You start dying slowly if you do not travel, if you do not read, if you do not listen to the sounds of life.’ I’ll link it below, so you if you so choose you can get the full force of Neruda pulling zero punches on life’s beauty and human mortality. And all of this on ‘hump day’ with a headache and not enough sleep last night. You don’t want to hear me complain though, just like I didn’t want to hear the noise of the entrepreneur.
The loudest noise was a series of accusations into whether I was annoying or alienating my cyber friends and connections by continuously telling them about the new product or service I have online. Along the same lines as when your favourite couple’s honeymoon photos hold endless fascination for each other, but awkward agony for their held captive audience as image after image floats by from an iPhoto account on the 42 inch flat screen. I was convinced my passion for the… the things I’m passionate about, might come across that way, which is the last thing I want. That said, there are people that I know and people that I don’t know out there who share my passions. Of course there are! Your vibe is your tribe and all that. Yet still the noise.
It got to the point where I thought I should just stop showing off my honeymoon photos, because the noise will not only alter in pitch and tempo depending on your level of resistant, it will have you buy into it and believe what you hear to be true. Taking down the photos is tantamount to giving up and this of course I do not want to do. Not that tender intangible part in me that derives a certain kind of joy from the sound of my guests’ chat and laughter, having a great evening with gorgeous food. I don’t want to run out on that. I honestly feel a better person in a better place in the world when I wake up the following morning after a full house at Supper club and that’s despite the complete exhaustion my body is indicating by way of stiff legs and sore back.
The sound of the noise is never really about giving up. In truth it’s a good thing, in fact its an excellent albeit complex component of being an innately creative human. It is perfectly designed to alert you to the fact that it’s time to utilise the art of who you are and what you know, to take it to the next level. Yes, that cliche. About writing the next paragraph of your narrative or to look at it another way to edit the chapter that’ s about to unfold anyway. #likeitornot
It was so loud though, I wasn’t trying to hear that. By late afternoon, the flyers for project X completed, the one’s for project Y ready for printing and a trip to the stationers to replenish with printer ink was in progress. About to go to my local coffee shop armed with my laptop, I sat in my car on a side street nearby with the noise, my grumbling resistance and a family sized pack of lightly sea salted M&S handcooked crisps. I was trying to figure out if I’d still be taken seriously as a coach, as a writer with this portfolio of micro businesses I’m building up that are about vegan food. People like square pegs, people like simple to understand and digest answers to the question, ‘what do you do.’ Don’t they?
It’s not my intention to run these micro businesses forever, but to at some point when they are good and healthy, give them away. Provide an opportunity for some up and coming, passionate human being to take and run with. My personal narrative as a coach is much if not all about walking the talk on the virtues of self-employment and small business. Transforming the way that we think about work, which has to be one of my undying passions. That, poetry and literature.
So, I’m in the car and I’m trying to work it all out on my lonesome and then I remember that there are other people in the world and that I even know a few of them personally. I call Tas Gooden, a great friend and business mentor and get some muscle behind me to thwart the infernal noise. It has no defence against transparency you see. It’s like how the order of words in poetry has no defence against authenticity, they just fall into place (or at least with more ease, because I’m not trying to say writing poetry is easy). Nonetheless, in the first few minutes of our conversation and some words of wisdom I said what I needed to hear. And here I am doing what I know to do, which is share my journey.
Thank you for taking the time to connect and share with me today. Please share your thoughts in the comments and I challenge you to be transparent. What is there for you to say, Right now?
Click on the links below to see the micro businesses I was talking about in this article and of course you are invited.
Vegan Netflix and Chill, June 10, 2016