The more and more I dig into the process of starting up, creating something new and building value, the more I am starting to realize managing one’s own psychology is the hardest thing. Understanding the self, i.e being self aware, mindful or whatever other word you want to call it, is IMHO the hardest thing. I meet a lot of entrepreneurs, I talk to them and the more I talk to them, the more I realize what they are building is less relevant and how they are building themselves comes to light to me. Do they view the world full of opportunity or are they whining? Do they feel entitled? or Do they work to build value and wealth? Are they working to change themselves or pointing fingers at everything around them that makes life difficult. How are they transforming themselves to take this personal journey of self discovery and growth? These are the questions that go thru my head. Maybe not everyone views this journey that way, thats ok but I think for those who are willing to sacrifice a lot, this is the only way. Taking the entrepreneurial path is a path to self discovery and personal growth. Entrepreneurship is at the cutting edge of looking at the world inside out, i.e look at yourself first before you look into the world.
There are a number of books that talk about self awareness and being mindful etc However putting those practises into action in the busy of building a company behooves the startup founder to really stop and think and prioritize. I believe this is where having a Mentor, a Guru or somebody to talk to makes all the difference in the world. Preferably, you pick someone who has walked the path before, or someone you respect or even someone who you don’t know but has a body of knowledge that you can spar against. I think books are fantastic, audio books are even better they capture the essence of our collective knowledge into words. However, we need to keep our wits about asking questions about what we hear and read. We all need some scientific skepticism. As I wrote in my previous blog post yours truly is eternally optimistic with a sprinkle of skepticism intertwined into my thinking.
I have referred to a number of books related to leadership and psychology. I am currently listening to “Waking Up” by Sam Harris. There is enough body of knowledge and science that talks about the merits of meditation. I find very few entrepreneurs actually practice this high leverage activity. I do it every day actually when I run it is a form of meditation for me. Find your time, activity or no activity to work on your thoughts. They are the first creation. Every company started as a thought, an idea, a spark. What we tell ourselves and how we talk to our own conscious is what we call managing your own psychology. Take the time to really sit in a comfortable place and notice how your thoughts are formed and notice what you are thinking about. It is a revelation. If you have not done this before I highly recommend it.