Dealing With Negativity and The Joy of Small Victories
As a full time student and entrepreneur it is hard to make significant steps towards launching. This has been my case and many other students will agree. There is so much schoolwork! Now add into that mix trying to work on your own venture; it’s a lot of work.
At the same time I should not make excuses. I have to remind myself everyday that I always need to make time for my own business (and other days I have to make myself do homework) especially when the wheels start rolling. But still, the feeling of not progressing quickly enough or the negativity received seems to affect the progress and encouragement to do more.
During the beginning of the semester I had no progress to report, nothing concrete to be happy about and to continue to build on. This made me feel like my dreams of entrepreneurship were not going to be reached. Thoughts of failure invaded me and suddenly I wasn’t thinking about my business anymore. The worst thing about being in a lull is that any negative comment seems to completely destroy you, even if you consciously know these suggestions shouldn’t hinder you, the unconscious lets the negativity dig deep and settle.
I was part of a pitch presentation in which investors and mentors gave us feedback on our project. The one comment that stood out to me was, “Oh, that’s a very hard industry to get into.” Period, there was nothing that followed, no constructive criticism, only that. Consciously I knew that what was said to me could have been applied to every single industry that presented that day, from high tech to fashion. There was nothing constructive about the feedback I received, that person only stated a fact that we were all aware of. And it was said it to me!
I thought I brushed it off. I thought it didn’t affect me. I thought that by dismissing the comment as tactless and mediocre (especially in the context that the feedback was given), I would be fine. But I wasn’t ok. Unconsciously it did affect me. Suddenly I wasn’t so enthusiastic about my venture; I was looking for a way out. Fortunately I didn’t allow it to mess with my ambition for too long, and I knew I needed to talk it out with someone. I relied on my support network in campus and was able to bounce back.
To be an entrepreneur, you have to have thick skin. Nevertheless, I believe that whatever it is inside of us that allows us to remain strong and focused to reach our target, and the same part that allowed me to be affected by a negative comment, can be worked on just like any other muscle in your body. Therefore, being a sensitive person is not a roadblock towards entrepreneurship; it is just a bump, something that we need to exercise in order to strengthen.
Let’s forget about what others may think or say. Negativity will continue to happen; we can only learn to be stronger. Meanwhile let each small step achieved be a reason for celebration, no matter how small, that way we are encouraged to do even more. For example, today I am buying a freezer for my business, YAY!!!!!!! I am not even mass-producing my food product yet, but it’s a step closer to it and for that I am happy and proud.