As Startup Iceland is fast approaching. I usually get the butterflies in my stomach, hair raising in the back of my neck I never took the time to notice what was going on until this year. Meditation and all the work that I have been doing on myself has made my senses more tuned to what I am feeling. Some call it stress, anxiety but I have always felt a sense of clarity in all the chaos during this time of the year. I don’t think anyone would have believed that we will be doing this for the 5th time in Iceland when we started. It has become of the main stay events in Iceland. I am extremely thankful and grateful to the Startup Community to making it happen every year.
It is probably one of the days in a year that I look forward to and thats because of the learning that I absorb from the leaders and mentors and the Startup Community descending onto Harpa Conference Hall and Community Center. I have always been and will continue to be a student of Entrepreneurship and Startup Founding. Startup Iceland is an event that epitomizes the learning in a single day what you probably get out of reading a 100 books. What is even more exciting is we have kept the event small where everyone gets a chance to connect with each other. The learning that comes with communicating your idea or what is going on in your world with your peers and community is extremely valuable.
Entrepreneurship and Startup Founding is a path to self discovery, you cannot learn about what is happening around you if you are not paying attention. I see so many of us going through life like automatons, being a startup founder or entrepreneur you cannot afford to do that. You always need to have a heightened sense of awareness and see everything around you. Some founders get it and others do not. Building the startup community in Iceland has consumed me for the past 6 years, I can say that we are well on the way to building a vibrant community. Is everything rainbows and sunshine in Iceland with regard to the Startup Community? absolutely not. There are so many things that we need to work on as a community. The quantity of startups being formed in Iceland has been steadily going up, that is a good indicator. The quality and boldness and bigness of ideas still needs work.
I am not sure if I recommended the book The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin , this book has influenced a lot of my thinking lately. I strongly believe in one of the message from the book
In every discipline the ability to be clear headed, present, cool under fire is much of what separates the best from the mediocre
How does one become clear headed, present and cool under fire? well it starts with a journey of self awareness. If you know thyself, then it is easy to know how you respond to stimulus. The ability to learn the skill of life is not too dissimilar to the ability to learn the skill of entrepreneurship. It is a skill, it can be learnt and I am so excited that just this insight has brought with it so many opportunities and has opened my world to so many possibilities.
The journey of building a company is hard, I see founders struggle with it every day. I struggle with it everyday. The easiest thing to do is to throw your hands in the air and get sucked into the thought that the world is against you. Actually the truth is nothing is against you or your dreams except your own thoughts. Learn to observe your thoughts and understand the internal conversation, there you find the clarity. If you learn to calm yourself at times of chaos and quiet your monkey brain, there is a sense of clarity that comes over, especially when you face adversity. Those are the learning moments. I cherish those moments, there in lies your growth.