When I initially started full-time on my entrepreneurial journey in April 2018, I had never been more excited.
Being able to choose my own hours and make my own decisions energised me with an amazing feeling of liberation.
Things really felt like they were going in the right direction in my life as working full-time on my own projects had been a goal of mine for over 3 years at that stage.
The going got tough
About 3 months into the entrepreneurial journey, the initial high had begun to diminish.
My savings were depleting faster than expected and the project I was working on was gaining traction, but not quickly enough.
The enormous effort I was putting in was reaping such little in return.
For the first time in my career I was beginning to wake up thinking “if I just stay in bed, will it make any difference” and really doubting if I had what it took be an entrepreneur.
The temptation to quit and revert to full-time employment had never been higher.
I missed regular monthly income, a feeling of stability and recognition for good work the most.
It was at this point that I remembered a mindset technique used by my friend when he struggled with his mental health.
Basically he attributed all negative thoughts toward a fictional character in his mind, “Sebastien”. He could then more easily identify these thoughts and learn to dismiss them.
So I experimented and began to do this with any thoughts that suggested my efforts were pointless – attributing any thought that suggested I should give up on the entrepreneurial journey to “Edward” (apologies to all the supportive and kind Edwards out there!).
In my mind, I painted “Edward” out to be someone who was coming toward the end of his career. He had never pursued his dreams, always given up when challenged and did his best to convince others to quit too.
So when a voice in my head said, “why don’t you just stay in bed for another hour” – I would ignore the voice knowing that was Edward trying to hold me back.
I’m aware that this sounds like an extreme technique and that sometimes, it’s actually beneficial to quit an idea if it’s not working.
However this technique allowed me to keep pushing forward at a time when all I needed to do was stay in the game.
Two years later and I am delighted that Edward didn’t convince me to give up.