This is a special birthday post to myself, which I’m writing after having one of the most eventful and toughest weeks ever. To give you a sneak peek – finalizing a huge business deal for my company, planning a new social media campaign for a big client, working on a TV show format with major producers and on top of that seeing my beloved dog of 13 years, who made the journey with me from Tel Aviv to NYC, fighting cancer and eventually making a decision to put him down. It was a tough week… but despite the very sad parts I felt very alive every moment of it, experiencing the highs and lows fully, and embracing each moment. It made me think how much my way of experiencing life changed in the past 3 years, since I stepped on the entrepreneurial path. Now I truly believe this is the only way to live, of course if you are willing to experience those raw and intense moments that make you feel fully alive. It does require a certain courage, but that courage won’t come if you wait for it. To quote my favorite author – “courage in the path is what makes the path manifests itself.” I thought about the list of things that drive me every day, and make me feel alive:
1. Your “highs” are so good, they make drugs look ridicules. No drugs have managed yet to duplicate the feeling of creating a dream and achieving it. It’s the only experience that proves us we have control over our own destiny, and the only way to experience it, is living it every day. Can anything compete with that feeling?
2. You replace “Thank God it’s Friday” with “Thank God it’s Monday”. When working in the corporate world I noticed most talks among colleagues surrounded around the weekends. From Monday to Wednesday the most common question would be “How was your weekend?”. Then from Wednesday to Friday it would be replaced with “Do you have exciting weekend plans?”. So essentially your entire life would be focused on making your weekends special, and work becomes that time in between you have to “serve” in order to enjoy them. As an entrepreneur your life suddenly becomes one big flow, where you have an opportunity to enjoy every moment of it, without dividing it to weekdays and weekends, not even to mornings or nights.
3. Your parents have no idea what is it that you do, and they stopped trying to get it a while ago. While it might sounds like a potential issue, I see it actually as a sign of being on the right path. If the previous generation would get it, you probably won’t be called the next innovative startup. Many of our parents also don’t come from the Generation E (as in entrepreneurs), the idea of doing what we do sounds unjustifiable risky to them.
4. Sometimes you cry like a baby, mad and loud. If you don’t have moments of complete helplessness, emptiness and desperation you are probably denying them. I’m not saying you should create those moments, but it’s ok to be honest about them and accept them as part of the flow.
5. You often find yourself imagining most embarrassing outcomes, like living on the streets or becoming a call girl or boy. You might not be that threatened financially (we all have alternatives), but in a weird way the idea of selling your sexual services for money appeals to you much more than a corporate job. After all it keeps your independence. It doesn’t mean you will actually do it, but playing with the idea in your head makes it seem like not such a big deal. It makes you go back to your startup reality thinking there is nothing to lose.
6. Your fear of heights and other phobias disappear, as you realize what you do every day is much scarier. Let’s face it, failing your company and losing your life savings or investors money is much scarier than falling from a high cliff with a bungee cord.
7. Your friends circle becomes more entrepreneurial, because you find less in common with people who are not. I’m not trying to elevate one lifestyle over another, but the truth is you probably have much more subjects to talk about with your friends who are entrepreneurial or at least are working independently. Partially because most of your life and subjects you talk about evolve around your company and being entrepreneur.
8. Your passion is contagious and attracts people who need recharging. When you live an entrepreneurial life, you live it fully and with passion (most of the time), because you know once your passion ends, your company does too. You probably produce more energy than you realize and other people could benefit by simply being around you or talking to you over a coffee. Spread it with generosity.
9. You feel like a superhero once in a while. When you are building your path and things happen as you plan them, sometimes it feels like magic. You feel like you are having special powers that make things work, and it doesn’t matter if you imagine yourself as a Superman, Batman or a Wonder Woman. I personally love the image of a flying Chinese martial arts warriors, style Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon J
10. You recognize other superheroes and attract them to you. In our world superheroes don’t wear capes, they look just like others. But only someone who is fully alive can spot another human being with similar traits in the crowd, even if they don’t wear the superhero cape. When both meet, the magic is multiplied.
Thank you all my readers and friends who follow my thoughts here. Your support plays tremendous role in what keeps me fully alive, everyday.