We have family friends who have a son named Ethan. When Ethan was little, his parents taught him this thing to do when he fell down and got hurt. They taught him to “shake it off”. It would go like this:
Ethan would be running around the yard and he’d trip on the sprinkler and go flying. He’d land fairly hard, especially for a 3-year old, and lay stunned for a second. You’d see his eyes start to well up with tears but then suddenly one of his parents would yell from the driveway, “It’s OK, Ethan, shake it off!”
He’d get this cute smile on his face and get up, eyes focused on his parents to make sure they were watching, and then he’d do this funny little dance where he’d shake his whole body, and he and everyone else would start to laugh. Within minutes he’d be off running around as if nothing ever happened.
Entrepreneurs trip on sprinklers all the time. And they fall. Hard. But just like Ethan, they need to be able to “shake it off” so they can get back up and keep running. It can help to have advisors and mentors who can be there on the driveway yelling to, “shake it off!”, but that’s not always a possibility.
The ups and downs and the responsibility that comes with entrepreneurship require the ability to bounce back from hard times and come back better than ever. There has to be a will inside of you that doesn’t let the falls keep you down for long.