I usually say that the greatest challenge is always the next one, in other words, what we are facing now; basically, because we’ve already overcome the others. This, of course, is not entirely accurate. Looking back, it’s easy to see that some challenges were tougher than others.
“Of course, being in a negative state of mind and with the lack of sleep, it’s harder to have the necessary insight to get to the root of the problem and to find a solution or alternative.”
I was endeavouring to identify the greatest challenge of all, or the toughest, and concluded that the real challenge is not being able to solve a particular problem, but, rather, having the right attitude when facing it. In other words, the greatest challenge lies in how we tackle the problem and not the problem itself. This is a constant struggle as it is a part of all the obstacles in our path.
The lessons I’ve learned from this is:
1. With the right attitude, everything can be done, and then some;
2. Things happen for a reason and all the problems that come knocking on our door help us grow. There is always something to be learned that is important for us (personally and for the company), and that is why we are faced with that particular challenge: otherwise, we wouldn’t learn anything important;
3. We can’t feel too upset whenever we have a problem, nor too happy when things go our way. It is important to be mentally and emotionally balanced to be able to have the right attitude and to continuously overcome the challenges.
Easy to say, difficult to do… In my case, although I already know these lessons by heart, it is always difficult to apply them. It’s very easy to get nervous, to have sleepless nights, etc. Of course, being in a negative state of mind and with the lack of sleep, it’s harder to have the necessary insight to get to the root of the problem and to find a solution or alternative. I constantly have to remind myself of these lessons learned and to apply them. Fortunately, or unfortunately, with the many obstacles I’ve already faced, it’s getting easier to remember and, therefore, be more successful and, especially, HAPPIER!
Of course, I’m not alone in this. Many (if not most) entrepreneurs (possibly with the exception of Elon Musk and Zuckerberg…) are faced with this challenge. In a quick search online, one finds that there is a lot of literature on the subject (e.g. “Fake it till you make it”), as well as information on the tendency entrepreneurs have to fall into a depression or even commit suicide (such as Ilya Zhitomirskiy, 22, founder of Diaspora, a social networking site, or Jody Sherman, 47, founder of e-commerce site Ecomom). So, I hope that my article helps all the entrepreneurs who read it and whom, for whatever reason, are not in the best place, psychologically.