Lessons for the Entrepreneur: The Art of Self-Reflection
The importance of self-reflection and your success as an entrepreneur
Through life we all go through a series of ups and downs and I am no exception. I have suffered through many personal, professional and financial setbacks. There is an important lesson that I have learned which is summarized by this memorable quote:
“ Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.”
– Henry David Thoreau
“Looking back” refers to dwelling on the past, where we ponder what could have been, what should have happened or why did this happen to me?? We must take our learning’s from the past and apply them forward.
The act of self-reflection
Self-reflection is essential to your personal success. Self-reflection allows you to take inventory of what missteps occurred and understand the why. This inventory sheds light on what inner flaws need to be fixed, what warning signs were ignored (that should be addressed going forward) or where does your motivation currently lie?
My personal self-reflection:
For the past ten years I have held roles in several Fortune 500 companies, continually on the pursuit to apply my entrepreneurial instincts in environments that frequently speak of innovation, but merely realize change for the sake of change. Over time, and after several positions, and several companies, my motivation waned and my productivity suffers. Ultimately my poor motivation culminated in termination of employment. I am sure this is not a unique story
But that was a cathartic moment.
Through the act of self-reflection during the most recent setback, I could have become depressed. I could have dwelled on a bruised ego. Or wonder why the last job did not turn out to be my dream job? I did none of these, rather I self-reflected and realized what my calling is.
My calling needs me to feel “real” change and that change must have a sizable impact; not only to the customers but to the owners of change. My conclusion from this self-reflection is simple: I am an entrepreneur and I hereby am wired to work with start-ups. Gone are the days of working for large corporations, I prefer to live or die by by the sweat equity of my team and I!
This self-reflection has been liberating. It drives my motivation. It was the self-reflection from a setback that was the catalyst! Go find your catalyst, go find your motivation and build success from your setbacks.
Every day we learn, every day we move forward, but never dwell on the past.