Tiina Zilliacus and I asked students at the beginning of our joint Good Life Engine course session what they would like to learn about entrepreneurship. These were the most common answers:
- How to fail without losing faith?
- How and why to step out from a corporate career and into entrepreneurship?
- How would one assess the risk and worth of a project?
- How to maintain a work-life balance in the entrepreneurship path?
- What is the role of creativity in the workplace?
Uncertainty is not always a bad thing.
The discussion in class can be boiled down to the following 11 lessons:
- Learn to quit a project, initiative, team or relationship if you see that it doesn’t work. Learn to stop doing things that don’t bring you joy anymore, even if you invested your time and energy in them before. Life changes, and what was relevant in the past can stop being relevant now. To save your own resources, learn to face reality and stop doing something that is not your thing. Closing the projects in the fairest, most ecological and friendly way possible is a skill.
- To stay resilient, distinguish your personality from your work. For example, if you showcase the outcome of your work, you can limit the information about your personality. That will make you immune if someone criticizes your work. And if you create things and outcomes, at some point, someone will criticize them. This separation also helps in switching between work and leisure, and to have clear borders.
- Uncertainty is not always a bad thing. When you are very certain, you are not open to new possibilities or alternatives. Uncertainty helps to look at events in a new light; it opens one’s mind.
- When you want to make a decision on whether to start a certain activity or project, you can use the perspective of the future or past you. Think: would this be something I will remember? Would it be something that will bring me positive emotions?
- Internal motivation sustains you longer than external. In different stages of life, we have different motivations. Usually, when we are younger, we look for external factors such as money, fame or acknowledgment. However, as life goes on, internal motivators start to dominate.
- One of the biggest motivations to start an entrepreneurial journey is seeing your ideas materialize, but also the feeling of adventure.
- How to fail without losing faith? Three tips: have a good level of inner security, have a general faith in life and believe in others.
- How to have inner security? Remember who you are as a person. You should remember your competencies, your journey and your achievements. They will be the building blocks of your inner security in difficult times.
- Sometimes, there is a transition time in work or in life. There are times when things fly, and there are times when everything goes wrong. If you happen to be in this difficult transition moment, stay quiet for some time, lay low, and rebuild your energy.
- Creativity is a life-saving skill. At some point, everyone faces the wall — either at work when they don’t know where to invest their resources (time, money or energy) or in life. If you have creativity as a skill, it will help you to break the wall. A creative hobby could be a good way to practice this skill.
- Building a network, meeting people, and talking with people are the core of entrepreneurship
What would be your lessons to add to this list?