By Julia Cohen – Atreva-se
Hello, how are you?
Have you gone crazy or are you still of sound mind? Joking aside, I think we are all living ups and downs, aren’t we?
Entrepreneurship, in itself, is already a constant challenge and doing it in the middle of the pandemic has been pretty crazy. We go from adrenaline peaks for some exciting news to free falls for some disappointment in the same day and there is mental balance to not freak out. Not to mention that our house became an office and to enforce the end-of-hours limits is often not easy. In my case, remote work wasn’t exactly a novelty. Despite being incubated in the business incubator of the University of Aveiro and having our coworking space, we’ve always worked from home. It’s quieter, more comfortable, and honestly, on many days I don’t even take off my pyjamas – which for me is amazing 😊. However, I also acknowledge that I work much longer hours than if I were in an office. On the other hand, entrepreneurs, in general, always work much harder. I remember once watching Shark Tank (the American show with investors watching pitches of random people looking for investment – I know, too cliché but I like it!), one of the investors said that entrepreneurs are the only people who leave a stable job to go to something uncertain and that will require working much more hours than usual. Yes, it sounds crazy and in some ways it really is. Not everyone is born to be an entrepreneur and it takes a lot of courage and determination. Anyway, as I mentioned before, I myself had never considered becoming an entrepreneur and knew very little about this universe. But the truth is that seeing the growth of something you are building from scratch is amazing. When you look back and see all the evolution, it makes it worthwhile…
But going back to emotional balance, it takes a lot of strength. I’ve lost count of how many times I thought of giving up. And countless other times I’ve wondered if I wouldn’t be better off, more stable, doing something else. At such times, the team of co-founders makes a lot of difference. It is necessary to be friends as well as partners. Sharing the insecurities, sharing the fears. When one is in free fall, the other one pulls the cart back up. And so the moments become balanced and things happen. It also helps to have some motivational quotes. Remembering why you started, how far you’ve come. To think that it’s only a difficult day and that the next one will be better. Remembering that if you overcome the obstacle of that day, you will have already gone further than many people who have tried. I don’t know if you know, but the success rate of a startup is very low. It is something like in 10, 8 swim and end up dying on the beach. This means that those who decide to become entrepreneurs already know that they will not have an easy path. On the other hand, the taste of victory in every small achievement is priceless. And that is how we go on, enjoying the small daily advances.
I’m trying to be inspiring, but I know it’s hard for a lot of people. There are so many other people who have an insane routine and that many times end up keeping their feelings, fears, doubts and worries in a drawer, deep inside their thoughts. Look, do you know what helps a little? Sharing. Seriously, just like the market bag is lighter if we separate the contents into two bags, it is the same with feelings. When we share with someone what is inside us, we get a lot lighter. It is not always easy to open up, I know. But without a doubt it does us good. That’s why I end today asking: dare to talk. Let it out, scream, shout, cry, laugh. And if talking is difficult, it is also worth writing – there we are!
I hope I have helped a little bit. And if today is difficult, the day will soon be over and tomorrow we have a new opportunity to start again.
Thank you for getting this far.