Sherina Kapany: Happy Entrepreneur, a Myth or Reality?

Entrepreneurs come in different shades and by that, if we were to translate their moods into colours every entrepreneur would look like a triple rainbow. A day in the life of an entrepreneur fluctuates from grey bringing in the sad news to a glossy pink when a winning deal has been cracked. However, no matter what the day brings, an entrepreneur must endeavour to average out on a decent bubbly yellow, i.e. neutral and not get disturbed as events unfold.

Let us start by defining who an entrepreneur is. First of all, if you have just opened a business, you are not an entrepreneur. If you are taking your family business ahead, you again are not an entrepreneur. If you are a college student who wants to launch your brand, you are yet not an entrepreneur. And if you are a tech wizard who works for a multinational company and has launched a side business, sorry to say, you do not qualify to be labelled as an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship is a game of risks. It is the start of business with real potential and multi-fold targets rather than just trade of goods and services. It is employment with a purpose. Wikipedia defines Entrepreneurship as the “capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit”. Every definition of entrepreneurship typically focuses on the launching and running of businesses. But, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of start-up businesses have to close due to “lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis, lack of market demand—or a combination of all of these.

But starting your own business is not always filled with rainbows and glitters. The entrepreneurial job is demanding, frustrating, and overwhelming, creating stress too often. But one needs to survive the haul of the business and survive happily. It becomes essential for a person running a business to create a balance in their work and personal life. Initially, it is very thrilling to get busy with the long and exciting process of establishing a business, and perhaps you struck gold with a first deal, a lucky break of sorts, but it becomes a matter of anxiety after a certain point of time if the balance is not maintained.

However, if you are a perfectionist, a workaholic, obsessed with creating a difference in your chosen industry, then it’s very easy to oscillate between stress and being overworked. The choice for me is a tough one because it’s easy for me to choose between the two but it’s a tough call to make. Reason being, they don’t walk hand in hand at all. Sometimes I wonder if choosing happiness means keeping negative forces at bay – which usually means people.

So, if you qualify as an Entrepreneur, you are well versed with the stresses that come with the job. However, within this incredible journey, let’s see few ways to keep that incredible happy journey intact.

  • Stop Comparing:

Never compare yourself with others in any aspect of your life. Nobody’s journey is similar. Every man-jack starts off differently and brings different aspects to the table, showcasing different strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to compare yourself to other entrepreneurs and aspire to become like them or better than them. Focus on becoming the better version of your own self. You are what defines your business, and that’s all should matter. The comparison is a waste of time for you as well as for everyone else. The end goal is to be a happy colour, remember that always.

  • Keep expectations, but be realistic:

Ask yourself, if your happy colour matches the expectations you have and try to tune your frequency in work to match your happy space. How to do so? The answer is simple – Keep your expectations in the tone of reality. They should be reasonable and should match the wavelength of your real life. Expectations are good because putting all your hard work into something and expecting good results out of it is a basic human tendency. But don’t have fairy-tale expectations! Know your market and surroundings and expect results accordingly. Reason being, if the real-life results match your expectations, you will feel a sense of contentment. But if you received more than your expectations, then it will be a pleasant surprise.

  • Say NO to over-commitment:

Being overburdened to me looks like a muddy brown. Don’t know about you but that colour surely doesn’t make me smile. Undoubtedly, every entrepreneur wants their business to reach great heights – and fast! Not unusually though, in today’s fast pacing world, everyone wants success instantly. This is where one takes a wrong turn.A lot of effort goes into being slow and steady. You don’t necessarily have to take big and several projects all at once. Take smaller chunks of orders and deliver the best quality. As an entrepreneur, your team will also need to be focused. Overcommitting will not only bring you to a breaking point but your team as well. Hence, the quality of the work will be compromised, and you may face failure. Grow your business gracefully by giving out the best results for the few small projects that you have. Let’s aim for a happy green instead, shall we!

  • Empathize and trust your employees:

It is very important to have a supportive staff in any business. But you cannot earn your employees support out of the blue. You need to create and maintain a constructive and supportive relationship with all of them. Empathize with your employees. Understand them and their requirements and keep a positive attitude towards them. Hire employees who share your values and are on the same level of frequency as you. Train your key employees and put them in charge of making small but important decisions for the business. This will relieve you of some stress and give you peace of mind. Perhaps a feeling like a nice fluorescent blue, anyone?

  • Step into the work-free world:

Spending time with loved ones is always a pastel shade for me. All of them are so pretty and bring about a feel-good aspect. I literally can image the most beautiful colours when I feel loved by my near and dear ones. Take time off your work once a while and spend time with your family as often as possible. Keep your work life and personal life balanced. Your family should be equally important to you as your business. This will not only help you relieve your stress but helps you maintain a healthy relationship with everyone around. It will be a challenging task to do, but an essential one.

The colours you identify happiness with are important, and it is equally important for you to have those around. The reason I stress so much on colour therapy, for lack of a better term, is that through the years I have come to identify my moods, the hurdles and happiness of entrepreneurship with happy and sad colours. You will have good days and bad days, but it’s your attitude that makes the whole difference. Try to aim for feeling like a ‘violet’ or a ‘dark red’ or a fancy ‘emerald’. You’re an entrepreneur, you and your business deserve to be celebrated for its achievements, however big and small. Remember! Your happiness and satisfaction from your entrepreneurial journey are in your control. Make all the necessary and required changes; nothing can stop you from being a happy entrepreneur except your willingness to change. Is a happy entrepreneur a myth? I think not.

This article was originally published on Entrepreneur and has been republished with the author’s permission.

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