The path of entrepreneurship tests you on every level imaginable.
It requires navigating the many challenges that arise. Business is all about survival of the fittest, which is the reason not everyone survives the journey. It is easy to start yet continuing on the path is another story.
There comes a point in every entrepreneurs journey where they are faced with the ultimate test. I am yet to speak with an entrepreneur that has not been through this essential 'cleansing phase' at some point.
The 'Cleansing Phase'
From my own personal experience along with the multitude of entrepreneurs I have spoken to, this 'cleansing phase' may come in the form of bankruptcy, dealing with liquidators, a dissolved business partnership, financial loss, closure of the business, the breakdown or loss of close relationships with partners, friends or family members and serious health issues such a nervous breakdown or heart attack.
Imagine for a moment one of these scenarios: walking out onto the street after a hurricane and witnessing the devastating affects to people, homes and belongings; commencing a twenty kilometer marathon in the searing heat with a serious injury that is causing you unimaginable pain; attempting to cross a dangerous river in the middle of the night with just a flashlight when you are waist deep in thick mud.
Once you move out of this phase and look back on this time of your life, it seems like a moment however when you are in it, it feels like a lifetime.
Purpose Of This Phase
As with everything that occurs in life, there is a purpose for the 'cleansing phase'. It is required for several reasons:
It's A Test
Going through this phase demonstrates that you do want what you say you do and are willing to go above and beyond to make your dreams come true.
It Cleanses You Of The Past
By cleansing you of the past, it actually assists you to find higher ground. It allows you to let go of what is not working for you such as: living by society's rules, outdated beliefs, parent's ideals, unhelpful actions or addictions, toxic people and negative thoughts.
It Creates Authenticity
When you suffer a perceived loss or encounter a challenge of this nature, you feel a deeper sense of connection with others and develop a fearless around showing love to yourself and others. As humans, we wear different masks at work, home, and with friends and family.
Going through the 'cleansing phase' is a like peeling an onion however instead of peeling it one layer at a time, all of the layers of the onion are revealed at once.
It rocks you to your very core with all of your masks left lying on the floor.
Your Survival Guide
1. Become Indestructible
The best way to accomplish this is by developing mental and physical toughness. Which in turn, develops your inner strength for this is no time to give up despite your fatigue and stress levels. It is time to step up and play a bigger game.
Mental toughness requires setting boundaries, associating with successful people and retaining a positive focus. Rigorous exercise daily also keeps you strong and focused both mentally and physically.
2. Seek Solace
Business is linked to your emotional well-being. The path of entrepreneurship can sometimes feel like a lonely road which impacts your well-being.
I believed keeping the challenges I was experiencing to myself was the best course of action as I have difficulty asking others for help. However, much to my dismay, it is in fact the complete opposite.
Seek solace from a friend, colleague, or professional as this enables you to process your emotions and move forward faster. When you process your emotions instead of numbing and avoiding them, it makes this phase far more palatable.
3. Open Your Heart
Irrespective of the situation you find yourself in, you can become bigger than your problems. When you remain in an open state, it helps you to focus on the possibilities. Remaining in a state of fear only exacerbates the issue.
Meditating and visualizing daily are the best ways to achieve this goal.
4. Develop Fearlessness
Like a soldier preparing for war, this is no time to let fear creep in, if anything this is the perfect time to turn up the fear factor.
This means doing things that terrified you previously, it may involve: prospecting, networking, raising capital, changing your strategy, learning new skills or working with new team members.
5. Build a Ferocious Inner Fire
Build your ferocious inner fire like a lion looking for food or World Champion Fighter Tyson Fury preparing for a championship fight.
Know what you want and why to the point where you can't think of anything else, it is all you talk about, tell others about and spend your time on. Allow this challenging period in your life to help you grow, learn important life-changing lessons and become even more laser focused on building your dreams.
Become The Artist
Be grateful for this time as it will mold you into the person you need to become to make your dreams come true. Ultimately, this is what life is about - learning who you are at your very core without the masks.
When you emerge from the darkness and the sun is shining bright you now have the opportunity to share your amazing story with the world.
"In your life, you are the paint, the painter and the painting" - Noah benShea