We’re all in this together, no?
It has been an interesting year in consideration of mental health and entrepreneurship. I’ve seen an increasing number of startups focused on mental health issues from substance abuse to depression, and venture capitalists have been notably conscientious about the toll that being a startup founder takes. MediaTech Ventures‘ friends at Work Well Win are committed to work space designed with wellness in mind (“wellworking”) and heck, I’m in my forties so whether it’s a midlife crisis or some wisdom (I think) in appreciating what *success* means, something frequently on my mind is how we take care of ourselves enough so that we can better serve others. Just the other day, one of my favorite locally owned publishers, The American Genius, featured Kiri Isaac’s editorial, 4 things to remember when things look bad for you as an entrepreneur…. #1: Build a support system.
And then a question was brought to my attention that struck me as distinctly important, “As an entrepreneur do you ever struggle to make new friends and keep them? How did you get past this?”
Entrepreneurship is inherently isolating.
Friends matter. But as entrepreneurs, friendship can be particularly difficult to juggle.
Do you ever struggle to make new friends and keep them? How did you get past this?
Absolutely. Entrepreneur is actually a personality trait, not a job description. The answer start and ends with appreciating that.
As an adrenaline junkie do you ever struggle to make new friends and keep them?
As an introvert do you ever struggle to make friends and keep them?
Notice the correlation and how the word entrepreneur isn’t as interchangeable with “business owner” or “CEO.”
Entrepreneur wasas the person who constantly sees gaps in a market, and moves resources to address them; in the process, creating new market and opportunities.
A startup founder might be entrepreneurial. They might not be. An CEO might be entrepreneurial, and introverted, and an adrenaline junkie… or they might not be.
Couple good examples of the difference…
Elon Musk, entrepreneur. The CEO of Ford, not so much.
Nicola Tesla, incredible inventor and modest entrepreneur at best. Thomas Edison, not the inventor of so much, as is often taught… but brilliant entrepreneur.
Making and keeping friends starts and ends with knowing yourself and knowing what friendship means to you.
That does NOT mean finding people exactly the same, does it? An introvert can absolutely be friends with an extrovert. I have friends who are sports fanatics and could barely tell you that the World Series just took place (I think).
But you have to know yourself in order to align with people in whom you can enjoy one another’s company.
Being entrepreneurial tends to mean one is always consuming news about innovations and poking holes in ideas and businesses. That is the very basis of being entrepreneurial – seeing gaps and addressing them.
Someand be around others who do. Some people get bored by innovation just as I get bored talking football. Some people struggle with this entrepreneur who constantly critiques (with good intentions mind you) other ventures. But that’s what entrepreneurs do.
Having been at this for 20 years, the bit of wisdom I have reminds me that odds are most of us will be endeavoring on something different in a few years. We keep at it together, as entrepreneurs, through the ups and downs, and the frequent changes in our profession.
Find your tribe. Here’s to your health… and to our friendship.