My Entrepreneurial Journey – What It Takes to Make It
By Ellen Patricia
Since 2018 until the Covid-19 Pandemic started, Ellen Patricia has had her own weekly TV talk show in Indonesia, titled “Emotional Health Talk”. Ellen holds a master’s degree in Counseling, and she is certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC). Her article focuses on three aspects of her entrepreneurial journey and will teach: How to believe in the utilitarian good, the greater good; how to embrace individualistic exploits with a strong mindset; and how to lean into our support system. It is a riveting piece on how to make the best of your journey, starting today.
No one is perfect. No matter who we are or what we do, at some points in our entrepreneurial journey we’re going to face challenges. Challenges are an inevitable part of our life. It can present itself in the form of a difficult client, a frustrating project, or a tight deadline. It can feel small, or it can feel big. Or it can feel insurmountable. No matter what the challenge is, it can be tough at times to face the challenge head on.
Reflecting upon that experience, I discovered some things that have been crucial in helping me to not crumble when life throws me a curve ball and persevere until I reach my goal. I’ll share some of them.
I’ve been journeying as a female entrepreneur for over a decade now, and I still face challenges. One of the challenges that life throws me recently comes in the form of a comment from a peer, on one of my videos on social media which promotes a new program that I offer. The comment made me feel hurt. I know that not everyone around us feels safe when we innovate and offer a new service. I also know that people post all sorts of comment on social media. However, having knowledge about this does not make me immune from being hurt. Fortunately, in my journey I have developed some beliefs and practices that helped me to step into my power over how I perceive things and my power to stay positive. Reflecting upon that experience, I discovered some things that have been crucial in helping me to not crumble when life throws me a curve ball and persevere until I reach my goal. I’ll share some of them.
1. Believe that within every challenge there’s a seed of good.
Challenges can serve as a container for training to stay focused on what’s important, orient us to hope, and rise above whatever life throws our way. Challenges can also help us develop & strengthen the characters that are important both in business and in life. Through challenges, we can see what we are really capable of. In the experience that I mentioned above, I am glad that I was able to withhold myself from replying to the hurtful comment as soon as I read it. It shows me that my capability of regulating my emotion has come a long way.
My entrepreneurial journey has also taught me that if we are constantly facing comfortable situations, we are not going to reach our full potential. When we are facing challenges, we are more likely to think outside of the box. Being outside of our comfort zone somehow helps us connect with our inner creativity. In the aforementioned experience, as I responded with a “thank you for your comment” and including links to a couple of my other videos for further reference for the new program that I am offering, I got the idea of including some other links in my website. Hence, through that experience, my website is becoming more informative.
2. Accept that not everyone around us will support us, and that’s okay
Though there are some people who are not supportive of me pursuing my dreams, there are people who support my dreams and goals, and want to help however they can.
In my journey I have learnt that there will always be people in our lives who want to see us fail. They may not explicitly say it, but their actions (or lack thereof) will make it clear that they’re not rooting for us. And that’s okay. Just because someone doesn’t support us doesn’t mean we have to give up on ourselves. In fact, being unsupported can actually make us stronger and more resilient. We will come to know that we’re capable of achieving great things, even when some people around us do not support us.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that achieving our goal without the support of some people is going to be easy. It can be difficult, and in my experience, at times, it may even feel impossible. But the truth is it’s not. Every day, women all over the world are doing incredible things without being fully supported. So when I find myself feeling unsupported, I remind myself that I am not the first person to feel this way, and I definitely won’t be the last. I also remind myself that I am strong and capable enough to face things as they are. And most importantly, I am not alone. Though there are some people who are not supportive of me pursuing my dreams, there are people who support my dreams and goals, and want to help however they can.
3. Talk with our support system about our thoughts and feelings.
As entrepreneurs, we are often expected to be strong, independent, and self-sufficient. And while these are all admirable qualities, there is also strength in being vulnerable and admitting that we need help from time to time. Through my journey, I have learnt that we don’t have to go through challenges alone. In fact, leaning on our support system can be one of the smartest things that we can do when we’re going through tough times, since keeping our thoughts and feelings bottled up can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments.
We can reach out to a friend, family member, coach, or anyone else who will listen and offer support to us as we face tough times. As we talk about the challenges we’re facing and get things off our chest, we usually will feel better. It might even give us a different perspective on the situation and better clarity about how to deal with the situation. As such, it is important to get support around us. Our support system is made up of the people who care about us. These are people who want to see us succeed and they want to help us through tough times. They can offer us comfort, encouragement, and feedback.
In my case, I share my thoughts and feelings with my spouse and discussed the experience with my coach (I have been disciplining myself for years to always meet with a coach biweekly for my growth). Talking to my spouse helped me release some of my pent-up emotions, as well as releasing me from being caught up in my own head. Talking to my coach helped me to see things that I was blind to, as well as be more creative and come up with new ideas on how to proceed. Together with my coach, I developed a game plan for tackling the challenge I am facing.
Challenging times are a natural part of entrepreneurial journey, and they don’t have to get us down. No matter what challenges come our way, it’s important to remember that we have the power to get through any challenge we face, both big and small. What we need to do is have healthy beliefs, embrace challenges as they come, and surround ourselves with supportive people. If you need additional support or someone to talk to, and don’t know where to turn to, I’ll be happy to listen and help in any way I can. It is always my pleasure to help other people grow.
Ellen Patricia is a coaching specialist consultant, professional coach, as well as trainer & speaker for more than 300 learning events in Indonesia and abroad. She provides her professional services to individuals, as well as various organizations, including the World Bank. Her clientele comes from different parts of the world (Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, & US).