This past week I was speaking with someone about what it's like to be an entrepreneur. As we discussed some of the challenges we started to discuss the importance of stress. Some stress is good and necessary to push you forward. However, there is a very fine line between when stress is a helpful motivator and a crippling deterrent.
I was reflecting on this fine line and I came to the conclusion that it isn't a threshold of volume. I believe that this line is crossed when perspective is lost. If you are going to pursue entrepreneurship there needs to be a clear idea of the amount of work and time needed to get where you're going. When you slip into the mindset that it's not coming quick enough, the stress consumes everything.
This idea reminds me of one of my favourite sayings. It goes something along the lines of "We over estimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in 10 years". I fall victim to this line of thinking often. I set lofty goals for Renga in 2019, and was a little disappointed when we didn't hit all of them, but then I reflect where I was three years ago.
Three years ago I was working a job that I did not enjoy, feeling a strong desire to make a jump and start something on my own. My wife told me "when you get your first client, you can quit." This was less than three years ago... unbelievable. I was working a job I hated for half of the money I make now. Less than three years later, I get to do something that I love with an incredible team. All of this has been a slow building journey, putting one foot in front of the other and making progress.
When I think about the amount that I have learned and grown in the past three years, it makes me incredibly excited about what three years from now looks like. The crazy part is that three years from today I will only be 30 years old. I've got so much time and fun ahead.
When I adopt this perspective, that long list of to dos feels much more manageable.