I’ve always loved stories, fairytales, myths and metaphors, because they refer directly to our hearts and souls. One of my favorite metaphor story is the story of “Hero’s journey” (developed by Stephen Gilligan and Robert Dilts). Today, I decided to share with you my version of the steps that every “Self – employed hero” has to go through:
1. Hearing the call – „I want to become self-employed“
Every journey begins with a calling. Often the call to action comes from a challenge, a crisis, a vision or somebody in need. Something has been lost and needs to be regained; some great challenge has arisen and needs to be met.
A call to self-employment comes from the same place. All of a sudden, you start telling yourself: “I want to be my own boss”; “I am not happy anymore making someone else’s dream comes true”; “I just want to try something new and go on an adventure” or for example you’ve lost the job and have to find a way to deal with a crisis.
The key question is:” Are you ready to accept the calling and commit to the journey”
2. The refusal of the Call – “I am not sure this is a good idea”
The Hero wants to avoid all the hassle it will bring. “No, thanks, I am not prepared to work 24/7” “It is very risky to go and do it – I will fail completely” etc..
Negative responses can come from within, or from outside – family friends, critics or society. You also might be told:“ That is unrealistic”.
It could be true, but instead of thinking negatively, do the homework and make a good market research:
– Ask Yourself: “What type of business do I see myself doing?”
– Does it make sense economically and financially?
– What knowledge, information and skills I need?
– Write a business plan
– Talk to someone who is already in business you want to enter.
3. Crossing the Threshold – “Ups, I can’t go back”
The Threshold is a point of no return. You started a Business and you can’t go back. Suddenly, you realize that you are in a new territory and out of your comfort zone. It becomes difficult, challenging, risky and frequently painful. Doubt and fears enter your land and you are not so sure anymore that you’ve made a right decision. It is perfectly normal, so don’t be upset about it.
4. Finding Guardians – “Help please”
In order to survive your Hero’s journey, you must find guardians. Ask yourself: “Who are the people who support my decision to become self –employed? Who are the people who have the knowledge and tools that I need to know and know nothing about? Who can remind me that the journey is possible, and offer support when I most need it?
Find your mentors, teachers, friends, sponsors, awakeners and allies. You cannot finish your hero’s journey alone!
5. Facing your demons and shadows – “Am I capable? Am I good enough?”
Demons are entities that will try to block your journey. What makes something a demon is the fact that you are afraid of it and intimidated by it. If you weren’t afraid, it wouldn’t be a demon.” You will be confronted over and over and over with your fears, your insecurities, your crappy excuses, your limitations, your justifications, your shitty integrity, and your inefficient time management. And you will have to learn to accept yourself through all this because in order to get up every day and create, you have to. “
6. The transformation – “ I wish someone told me that before..”
As you develop new resources within yourself and find guardians you become ready to face your demons and inner shadows and engage in the great transformational challenge of the journey. This is the time of great struggle, dedication, and battle that leads to your growth and new insights:
– You will learn that when you run a business and put your heart and soul in a project, there is no such thing as “going home”
– Running out of money is a common part of the journey, despite your best planning
– You have to know how to sell yourself in two minutes and keep it brief and relevant.
– Whether you like it or not, you have to learn to be good at networking
– Your trajectory for success will most probably take as long as everyone else’s, even though you’re “special and brilliant”. Two years rule doesn’t exist without reason.
– You have to say goodbye to any form of perfectionism and learn not to be hard on yourself. It is just not possible to be working at 100 % all of the time
– Probably, your email will become your new best enemy. You could care about everyone, but you can’t help everyone.
– Sometimes you will have to do boring stuff (deal with administration, taxes and receipts)
– You must become a brilliant marketer or hire someone who will do it for you. You can have best product or service, but if nobody knows it exist, you won’t sell it.
7. Returning home with a gift – “I survived…I am running a business…is it real?”
The final stage of hero’s journey is the return home. Hero’s journey is not an individual ego trip. A true hero shares his or her realizations with others. True entrepreneur helps others to succeed, because he knows there is a place for everyone who has something valuable to offer.
Entrepreneurship is the most life changing relationship (like marriage or parenthood) that a person can have. So, at the end, there is just one question left: “Are you still crazy enough to go for it?”