The Mythology of The Spartan Entrepreneur - Part One of TwoFeb 19, 2022
By Dino Tartaglia.
This post is part one of a two-part pre-cursor to a 5-part series - part Deux will appear in the next issue.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is a rant, albeit a very (very) considered one, so my use of language may be a little more 'choice' than usual if you're used to my articles. Read accordingly.
Let me clue you in on an entrepreneurial MYTH. Actually, let's explode the whole mythology built up around this myth.
First, a bullshit premise:
You have to be somewhat UNHINGED to get into business, and that this is a good thing.
Yes, you will feel a gap between who you are (or who you sense you are), what you're doing and a feeling of what your potential could be. This will be a driver for change, for growth.
Yes, your way of thinking will categorically not fit in with the Corporate drones or other forms of employed life that you may find (or have found) yourself surrounded by.
Yes, you will find yourself feeling like an outsider, especially after you leap (or have leapt) from the relative safety & support of the paycheque and the team.
A little known (or discussed) consideration is that - even if you hated the J.O.B - leaving long-term employment is a little like losing a close relative: there's a period of mourning, and it has an impact. Significant Life changes invoke a grieving process, whether you're aware of it happening to you or not.
No one will seem to understand you out in the wild, much less support you, and finding people who can and who also won't feed off your entrepreneurial naivety (deliberately or otherwise) will seem like an almost impossible task.
But find them, you will.
Beware 'Your' People
They'll tell you that we're all nutters and rebellious mavericks and that not fitting in is the BEST thing. And this will FEEL good…especially if you've felt constrained where you've come from. It'll probably feel like you've come 'home'. But…
There'll be so much dysfunction around you that carrying around a bit of baggage and living with that getting in the way of you blossoming and succeeding as an entrepreneur will 'normalise': it'll feel somehow 'right', like some precondition that provides access to your right of passage into entrepreneurship.
Note: I may tackle this in another article. We all carry some baggage, and that is, indeed, quite normal. What's NOT okay is it being exploited or, indeed, supported in a way that keeps you in that place.
They'll tell you that blindly ploughing your path is The Way, and that to make money, you just need a system. Or that all you need is a mentor or coach, but not how to select one. That you have to want - really want - to do The Thing (this being your business, by the way). That you should follow your passion. Monetise your skills by using them to solve customer problems. Leverage the crap out of anything and everything around you as soon as possible, so you get more done. And that there will be some challenges, but hey! You just have to work through them and figure things out as you go along (there's some truth in this, btw, but a little truth can be dangerous in the wrong hands)
The Big Myth
In fact, at the extreme end of this is The Big Myth. Propagated by The Hustle & Grind crowd, I'm pretty sure that this was in existence long before these characters emerged from the maelstrom of frantic activity that spawned them.
The Big Myth would have us believe that entrepreneurs are forged in fire, created by the tortuous challenges they inevitably encounter on their hero's journey. Eventually, after being brought to the brink of entrepreneurial 'death' more than once, emerging victorious to achieve unbridled success.
And you know what?
It happens. People go through that, and they do emerge as 'victors'.
Tenacity & Resilience, two of the Pillars of Mental Toughness Simon (Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers) wrote about in his 8th book - Master Mental Toughness, launched at our Rome event in 2018 - are at the very core of their story.
But that's not me, and it's probably not you (right now), and it sure AF isn't most people. Which is why I decided to rant around a quote I remembered from Sun Tzu
"The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting."
I.e. the best way to make tangible progress is to minimise your struggles and mitigate your battles. As Newton (almost) put it, Force creates Counterforce (for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction).
The harder you push, the harder something (or someone) will push back.
Smart people (and those of us far less smart but who stayed awake when it was all going to crapola around us and who learned the lessons) understand that the way to make progress isn't usually to push harder but to remove the forces pushing back (like friction and defects in your processes, and resistance in your behavioural systems).
Do this, and things flow far more efficiently, fluidly and - key point -sustainably.
A Better Way
The key to Entrepreneurial Success is to find YOUR way to build a clear path around who YOU are (your unique disposition) and get you closer to What Matters Most to you. Not hack your way through a tangled jungle of mozzie-infested, flesh-eating guru-led communities and poisonous ideas.
At Success Engineers, our sole focus is to help you Build a Better Business. We do this together by showing you how to grow, build, and BE, and support you through that growth. Because ALL change for the better starts with behavioural and personal change, and no one does that successfully on their own, not if they're in business for the long game.
Something that I hope you've already figured out if you're a member of The Female CEO Facebook group and/or have been reading this magazine for any length of time is this…
You, alone, are responsible for your success. But you should never BE alone on your journey.
Choose your guides and companions carefully.
This nicely brings us back to the main topic of this article…
Challenges are inevitable. And I'm not suggesting for a second that you can, or should, avoid them. So, why hold this Big 'Spartan' Myth up as the poster child of Entrepreneurial Success?
Next month, we'll get into the heart of that.
To your inevitable success.
Dino Tartaglia is a former Electronics Engineer, now a businessman, mentor, coach and troubleshooter working to help you, if you’re a coach, consultant, creative or service provider, to Build a Joyful, Dependable Business around Being Brilliant at What You Do.
In his own coaching, and together with world-class coach Simon Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers (their joint business), he helps you to improve your thinking to ask better questions, so that you solve the right problems in your business at the right time, develop your own personal performance as a business owner and get closer to What Matters Most.
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