The entrepreneurial journey. The last mile

So many times I see entrepreneurs leave good projects, their dreams, and passion.  The entrepreneurial journey is never a straight line. The glorified image of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and the rest are only part of a journey that has had equally as many downs than ups as other startups.  Your journey is no different than any other journey, it will have highs and lows.

Last Saturday at 9:30 I was out with a crowd of about 50 other walkers/runners for a 32KM run. As they all started a leisurely stroll, I stayed back as I usually do and started a very slow jog and slowly passing them.  The first part was downhill and soon what should have been an easy jog ended up being painful.  My knee locked up more or less at KM 3 before we had even reached the bottom of the valley.  I took notice of the pain and slowed down to adjust but it was too late.  I had already pulled a tendon or a ligament.  I could have turned around, but I decided to carry on. I tried running slowly, but it was too painful, so I walked. What would have normally taken me 3 hours max took me about 6 hours. I had to stop several times on route to sit and massage my knee so it would relax.  The sun was blaring down, it was hot and I had not put any suncream on my arms.  Not only was I in pain, but sometime around 13:00 I felt the sun burning through me.  There were four fast runners in front of me, they had long disappeared. Another runner whom I also run with was suffering from back pain, we walked together for about 1km and he also had to abandon me. For the rest of the journey from Km 18 to 32, I was pretty much on my own. 

I could have sat and called for help, I could have given up, however, I had one objective to finish.  I wanted to prove to myself that even if it is painful I can push the pain barrier. I meditated, blanked my mind and I listen to Pink Floyd and Dire Straights. I rehearsed the many motivational speeches I give to keep me focused.  It felt like a never-ending journey, but with every step, I knew that I am one step closer to the finish. With every step I knew that I am putting in the effort towards reaching my goal. In the end, I made it 16.24. I arrived at the finish line.

The last mile? Are you willing to go as far as it takes? Many times I see entrepreneurs give up too early. Whether it is a jog, marathon, or work, it is all the same. It all depends on how dedicated you are and how focused you are on your goal. If you keep your mind focused and remind yourself that with every step, you are one step closer to the finish, that’s all it takes.

The Entrepreneurial Journey. What it means to persevere and pivot

The Entrepreneurial Journey.  Starting again

One of my favourite quotes from Steve Jobs where he quotes  “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Ali Parandeh Zandpour

Two weeks ago as I was chairing the Division Toastmaster contest for the English language speeches and I was inspired not just by the speeches and speakers who year after year compete for the World Championship of public speaking. Every year a new speech and sometimes taking a break in between.  I have been on this journey and I plan to continue, not just to win but to compete is the only way to push yourself up and out of your comfort zone.  Each year you have to start from scratch, all the way from your club to area, division, district, semi-finals and finally the world championship.  Each time competing against better and more accomplished speakers.

Perseverance on a path towards a goal is possibly one that I would rate amongst the highest and most important in any entrepreneurship or self-development journey.  Perseverance does not mean that you should blindly keep moving on a path, rather it is moving with knowledge and flexibility to adapt to the path, by learning from the mistakes on route and being able to apply what you learn in order to continue.

We all want to climb to the top, so many times we hit a cliff or a brick wall and so many times I see people giving up. Sitting there aimlessly or just going back and never trying again.  Perseverance is about being able to keep that vision of your goal, and letting that goal pull you on a new path, again and again. Call it pivoting, call it trying again, or perseverance. In the end it all boils down to your drive and passion for reaching your goal and not giving up on the path that at times is arduous, debilitating and even defeating.

The only one who can stop you from achieving your dreams is you. Sit, rest, get up and start again.  Love you all.