Staying in The Flow: The entrepreneurial journey

In the past couple of years, I have made one big change in my life and that’s to make sure I stay in the flow. As entrepreneurs, we have been told that we need to work hard, all god-given hours, and bend reality.  All that’s true but it becomes a lot easier when you stay in the flow.  Startup success is not guaranteed by the number of hours you work, rather by how you use those hours to achieve your goal and that means living in the flow.

It has taken me some time in understanding what it means to be in the flow.  Many people think that they need to work hard, endless hours, weekends, and none stop.  I did that for the best part of 23 years.  I worked many weekends, I worked through my holidays, I might as well have had the mobile implanted in my head to save my hands from holding it. I proudly and always would announce that I am a workaholic and that nothing would stand in my way of getting what I wanted.

 I succeeded in getting everything I wanted but along the way, I lost many other opportunities of having fun, enjoying life, and realizing that there is a much easier way to get all the above, everything you want, and much more.   

That method is nothing more than tapping into and staying in the flow.  To understand this, you have to understand that we all go in different directions. To be in the flow doesn’t mean that you have to do what others are doing and how they are doing. Salmon is in the flow, but Salmon is in its own flow, and it flows against the current.  To be in the flow is to follow your direction and your flow and in order to do that, you need to tap into something deeper.  BUT how do you tap into that something deeper?  Sounds esoteric!. 

 Allow me just a few minutes.  If you’ve read so far, you will now agree that to be in the flow doesn’t mean that you have to be doing what everybody else is doing.   It also doesn’t mean that you should stop working towards your goal.  To be in the flow for Salmon means swimming harder than most other fish against the current, upstream, risking their lives on the way, and ending up exhausted and dying after laying their eggs. 

 Being in the flow for me has meant following my heart and doing what I love against all odds.  While a few years ago, I was struggling with my startup #Urbytus, I set up many events big and small.  I created The Presidents Club, we held annual conferences, quarterly meetings, forums, and so on.  I tried my hardest to get more clients, publicity. It was hard work and it worked and before the pandemic hit in March 2020, I was set to start more events.  We all know what happened next.  I was stopped dead in my track. For months I was unsure of how to get this back on track and I was struggling to find a safe method for recreating our forums and get-togethers in small numbers.   Until one day a long-term client of Urbytus sent an email with a bunch of questions.

 

I had two options, simply answer the email, like I answer all the support emails, or invite him to lunch, thank him for all these years of business and answer his questions in the process. Lunch with The Presidents Club, was born because of the pandemic and so far it has meant, I have learnt much more about some of my clients, I have addressed more of their concerns, we have discussed in detail and at ease the future of the product and what it needs to be in their view.

 

 

To be in the flow, meant letting go of old ideas and allowing the present to PRESENT me with new opportunities and possibilities. To be in the flow has been my way of life for the past 3 years, where I have been a startup mentor, teacher, and advisor. All of these opportunities have helped me along my path, life, and this beautiful journey on earth.  Being in the flow means doing your best and keeping your dreams live as your vision and using every opportunity that life throws at you on your path even if that means swimming against the current :-).  Love you all.

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.