“The important thing is not the success or failure of the event. The important thing is the person you become as a result of attempting something like this.”
You need to know that however successful you become as an entrepreneur, business owner, artist or athlete, your self-talk is your worst enemy. It is not the circumstances or the people that do not believe in you, and it is not the weather not playing nice.
Did you know that when you think of doing something so huge that it seems almost impossible, the universe conspires in your favour to make things happen? In fact, the more impossible it feels at the start, the more I am here to encourage you to take the leap and do it. The how does not matter as much as the what and the why. This is my true and accurate account of what, at the start, was a seemingly impossible task.
Last year, 2015, marked a time for me that forced me to reconsider my options as an entrepreneur. I am a chef with a business that is doing well. This business got most of its credibility and advertising from a podcast which has received a lot of accolades. As a result, the podcast became the focus of the friends and entrepreneurs I associated with. So, as a person with Shiny Ball Syndrome, (yes, this is a technical term) I went after the podcasting idea. Primarily because I saw so much potential in the medium. The benefits of the medium far outweighed the cons and, most importantly, I had stats and results to back my claim.
I was having breakfast with a mentor of mine, Andrew Griffiths, who planted the seed that I should take it upon myself to create and organise the first podcasting conference in the Southern Hemisphere. This was only after I started explaining to him how I did not care whether I got paid or not but, instead, that I wanted every Australian business owner, artist or person with a personal brand to know that a podcast will benefit their business goals. So, enough of the back story. The main thing to know is that somehow we made it happen and that for most people it was a success.
For me, there was so much I could improve upon but these are the lessons I learned:
1. Perfection is the B-word
I wanted to be best of the best and did not want to compromise on things that would not match my perceived expectations. I can honestly say to you right now that if I was stubborn enough to keep that perceived standard, this event would have never happened. In fact, it delayed the marketing of the event quite drastically. It was only very late on, a few months from the actual event date, that I understood that when you take on something so huge the iterations matter.
The more iterations, the more you learn. The more you learn, the closer you can get to your initial expectations. I want to give the speakers and the attendees better service and better experiences, and I will. But it was not something we could have tackled on our first go. To make a very important point clear, this was the first time I had ever run an event.
2. The process outweighs the outcome
Through my journey the prevailing thought was “is this escapade going to be a failure?” And the more I thought about it, the more crippling the feeling got. So, I spoke to another mentor of mine, Paul Dunn, who said to me, “Ronsley, the important thing is not the success or failure of the event. The important thing is the person you become as a result of attempting something like this.” That single line changed my perspective of the whole expedition. And it totally was an expedition.
3. You are your own worst enemy
You need to know that however successful you become as an entrepreneur, business owner, artist or athlete, your self-talk is your worst enemy. It is not the circumstances or the people that do not believe in you, and it is not the weather not playing nice. These are all temporary setbacks and they do not count. Because, if you can master the noise between your ears, you can master any adversity that comes your way.
In fact, I wish I had meditated more. And I wish I had journaled more. I wish I had exercised more. That would have kept the noise quiet for longer.
4. Lying in the fetal position on some days helps
There was this one day during the eight-month journey where my wife, Rochelle, would come home from work and find me on the floor with my mind racing. It was when the noise in my head got too much and it took control of my body. Those are the times that you need to just sit with the discomfort because it is, unfortunately, the part where you grow the most.
Looking back, I realise that I have so much more to grow and that it does not matter what you do, whether it is an exercise routine or a big project – there comes a time where you get asked whether this is all you have got. And you have to answer back with calm authority: “No. Not Yet.”
5. The right people around you matter
Through the last few paragraphs I mentioned some key names that kept me in check through this whole expedition. These are the people that I cannot thank enough. My team, my mentors, my wife and my friends. They kept me sane. They helped with the noise between my ears and whenever you take on something, however big or small, it is important to recognise the people that will be around and also appreciate them, even if things turn sour later.
I suppose the big lesson I would like you to take from this is that you need to go out and make your big idea happen. However difficult, however seemingly impossible. These articles can only help quieten the voice between your ears, but at the end of the day your persistence and courage is key. And I promise you the rewards are gratifying.