Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Tests

“…before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved towards that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm tree’s have appeared on the horizon.” Paulo Coelho

Tests are points of inflection which determine the course one’s life will take. They come in varying degrees of intensity from the simple such as sticking with your diet plan to the complex such as risking all your life savings for a business you believe in. How we cope with these battery of tests moulds our life and has a direct impact on our level of happiness, success, health and stress levels. We go through a mix of emotions whenever we are put through one of them and go into this internal dialogue which weighs out the pro’s and con’s and attempts to make sense of the situation. 

At times we are confident how we will deal with them as compared to others when we stay up all night wondering why out of all the people in the world, it is we who have to go through this. It is during these complex tests that we develop the ability to look deeper into ourselves and see all the steps which have lead up to this point. For example, if you have ever started a company you will know that getting that first big client is just about the biggest test a startup goes through. Day and night the team does its best to identify, convince and close that deal. Yet weeks and months go by and no deal is closed. It is at this point that each and every team member is tested on their commitment, belief and faith in the company’s offerings. Do you quit or do you go back to the drawing table and figure out why you have not been successful? 

In the book ‘The Alchemist’ the main character has to pass through several tests before he reaches what he truly desires. Along the way, life tempts him with the easy way out,  tells him to settle for less than he knows he deserves and at multiple times leaves him with nothing to hold on to to gauge how badly he wants to reach his goals. We will undergo everyone of these tests on our journey to fulfilling our personal legend as well. There have been times in the past when I was starting out that quitting and heading to the corporate world was often on my mind. It was a time when I really had to ask myself “What is it that I truly want?” and “What was is it that makes me truly happy?”. It was an intense time in my life but I got through it and am happy with the path I took. 

Everyone will face similar tests, whether you are an entrepreneur or not. At times we may just give up hope and take the easier way out, doing that is human so don’t beat yourself up about it. If anything, look back at that time and figure out why you took that decision, was there anything you would do differently now? Learn from those tests and they will help you overcome the future ones with a more ease. 

The next time life puts you in a bind keep your chin up, stay focused and follow your heart. 

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