When the Going Gets Tough, Entrepreneurs Get Going
July 24, 2020
Mornings can be tough. Most summer mornings though, I happily start my day with breakfast with one of our kids at 7:30 am. Breakfast is generally with one child because the other two are happy to log an extra hour of sleep during summer days. The kids rotate the 8 a.m. tennis slot between them.
Coach Boris puts them through their paces every day and the results are showing. As a result, this is going to be the summer I get rear ended on the tennis court. For sure by one of our girls, and possibly both the girls. No doubt, my son is soon to follow. For now, I have a few years on him, so I’m hanging in there for the moment.
My former competitive tennis player self (emphasis on former) is struggling with this. First I feel total parental pride at getting beaten by my kid(s). Second, I oscillate to self flagellation at getting beaten!
Every couple of days I decide to tear myself away from my desk, and head out for a tennis lesson myself with Coach Boris. Memory is a strange thing. In my mind, I am my former powerful self, pounding back every ball. The reality is much more humbling – I’m feeling it on the court generally one day out of every ten.
Not feeling it right now? Lots of us are struggling with this day-to-day. How do you keep your motivation level up in the face of the uncertainty that surrounds us?
What do I do when I’m not feeling it?
Follow Coach Boris’s instructions:
1. Show up
2. Work hard
3. Focus on the positive
4. Set yourself a mini goal
The focus on these four small but achievable goals prevents me from destroying my racket a la McEnroe – not that I was ever that good or that bad.
During this challenging time when uncertainty is a source of utter frustration, the conclusions are clear. Every single entrepreneur agrees with Coach Boris. Show up for yourself every day. Work earnestly. Focus on the positive moments, particularly when you’re surrounded by the negative. Have achievable mini goals. Trust me. Sideline the daily frustrations. Feel it again.
Sam Jayanti is the Founder of ideamix and writes on a wide range of topics in business. She is an alum of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, and was at Palantir, Good Governance Group, HarperCollins and JP Morgan in various roles over her 25 year career.