How many times did you hear that in the Godfather series? It becomes very personal though, when the tables are turned, so it leaves me with one question. Can you separate the “personal” from your business?

Investing in my dreams

For me, my journey into entrepreneurship is VERY personal. I arrived at this point in my life, with gusto to live with purpose and to bring my dreams to fruition. It was to put my passion into my daily life and align my beliefs and values with my career, and to hopefully inspire others to find this wonderful place too. It wasn’t a slight decision that I made to try this venture out. I am invested. It’s completely personal to me.

Is an attack on your business, an attack on you?

While we are creating our own wonderful place, there are obviously going to be people who simply don’t share our ideas. The superpower that all entrepreneurs have to have then, is to be able to deflect attacks and nay-sayers and not take these comments and actions personally.

The bare truth of it is that not all people are going to like us, or our product or services. That is just how it is. Instead of being disheartened by this, we should be using this an opportunity to grow and learn and to redefine our reactions to these negative instances. It is after all, not a personal attack on you. It is what you have to accept in business.

Disappointment leading to lack of action

A friend called me out on seeing things too simply. There were harsh words used and my original comment was seen as “offensive”. If you have been in a situation where your belief is called into question, you will understand that we can react in two ways. We are either lashing out in defense or we are pausing to assess their point of reference.

Either way, there is always a painful tinge of disappointment that creeps in. I mean, we are personally invested, it’s our beliefs that push us forward to create what we think is an amazing venture.

It is then, what we do with that disappointment that is most important. It can stunt us and prevent us from taking further action, or it can propel us forward, hopefully with a lesson learned.

Can we separate personal from the business then?

Undoubtedly we are emotionally connected to our businesses. It is then about rising above those nay-sayers and what we see as personal attacks and moving forward despite the disappointment we are feeling.

It is about taking those negative feelings that come out of those comments and realigning ourselves with our purpose and the reason why we even set out on this journey. It is remembering that there are going to be hills and valleys along the journey, but it is on the in-between days when our most productive work is accomplished.

Pilgrimage and Entrepreneurship

I often think of my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in the same way as I see my journey into entrepreneurship. There were horrible hills and on the way up, it was dreadful. The summit was the prize and looking down on my accomplishment, I was filled with hope for the journey forward. The downhills were often just as bad as the way up, but it was on those days across flat terrain, that I made the most progress.

It’s always personal. It is a personal journey but it doesn’t have to be personalized. It is being immune and remembering that in the words of Don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements about not taking anything personally:

“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dreams. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Photo by Uriel Marques from Pexels