My favourite rock band of all time, ACDC recently launched their new album titled Power Up. They have been around since 1973, nearly as long as the Boeing 747 ( entered into service in 1970). Close to 50 years in the business and if there is one word that defines them, it is consistency. That kind of consistency, for that much amount of time takes a lot of effort, and comes after a lot of struggle. Perhaps they realised it early on in their career, they released a song titled It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’n’ Roll).
This particular number chronicles their life as a small-time rock band, that is riding on the highways going to shows, stopping on the byways, playing rock and roll, and the hard life that comes with being a rock and roller. This is a two-minute autobiography combined with a bit of frank assessment on the journey to the top. This is applicable not just to rock and roll, but to any career anyone chooses, especially being an entrepreneur. A few harsh truths for you today, about being an entrepreneur.
- It is often a lonely, twisty, and bumpy ride
Being an entrepreneur/inventor/innovator is not as glamourous as it sounds. The glamour is on the outside, as perceived by the external world. Often, it is a lonely ride, with very few people by your side. The ride is not smooth either. It is bumpy. An active social life is a luxury you may have to forego, along with numerous other things. More often than not, people will not understand why you do it, and why you act in certain ways. In addition to being long and bumpy, your ride is twisty. The journey between your product/solution and your market is not a straight line either, and it is often uphill.
- You are invisible for the most part
You are just another face in the crowd for the most part of this journey, or worse, you are a faceless entity. For every Facebook, Uber and Netflix, there are over a thousand that end up in oblivion. Do not expect people to remember you. Most of the time, your emails will not get any response, even from people you meet at events, who are nice and polite. That is all part of being in this game. Do not take it personally, it is just how things are.
- Backing out and saying no is as important as committing and saying yes
On the flipside, there will be numerous offers, deals and introductions that you will receive. You do not have to commit to everything and everyone. Sometimes it is in your better interests to simply walk away from the table. You need to ask yourself, whether it is worth the trouble over a long time to commit to, and partner with, certain deals and individuals. Believe me it will not be worth the long-term trouble and headache. Simply walk away.
I understand this has been a soul-sucking post, with some harsh realities, but chin-up, because the clocks go forward next Monday, and we will be back to some cheerful posts again. This dose of reality, I feel has been necessary for a while.