Posted by: petsweekly | May 23, 2010

Crisis of Entrepreneurial Spirit

Well, its been awhile since I’ve posted to my blog. Wish I had a better reason besides “I’ve been busy writing other stuff,” but ~ well, there it is…

I’ve decided to revamp this blog and begin blogging about some different things, namely: marketing tips, what not to do as an entrepreneur (and I have extensive experience with that topic), writing frustrations (again, very experienced), and (let’s be honest), probably use it to rant a little. It’s going to be a far more personalized look at being an “entrepreneur” and it’s going to look at how fellow entrepreneurs, people I aspire towards, will end up bringing the economy back from the brink of death. So look for some changes to come.

I’m what is known as a “Serial Entrepreneur.”  Maybe because I’m an Aquarius, maybe because I have always wanted to do something different, maybe I inherited it, maybe it’s because I believe wholeheartedly in the ability of an individual to make a difference.  Shoot, maybe it’s just because I’m a workaholic and on some level feel the need to punish myself for it.

Because that’s what being self-employed means – you’re constantly working, always questioning every decision, worrying about every “lost subscriber,” justifying every negative comment. But occasionally, you receive a heartfelt note from a reader and it just makes everything else go away.

Yes, we’re that easy to please…

A little background…. most of you know that for the last 6 years I’ve created and expanded the PetsWeekly website, and during those years I’ve not made any money doing it. Strangely (or stupidly) enough, making money was never my intent with this site. I had a fulltime job, I freelanced. PetsWeekly is, and always has been, a labor of love. And that’s what makes it fun.

But this year, I’ve decided to step things up and I’m making an attempt to monetize the site while maintaining it’s integrity. That means we either set up a store (which I’m not too interested in doing), or we sell ads (and I hate doing sales).

I chose the latter. We work primarily with smaller companies and do our very best to make them strong industry performers. That means I go above and beyond for them. Don’t believe me? Call and ask. If they don’t tell you, I will.

I’m writing this now because lately I’ve been experiencing what I refer to as a “crisis of spirit.” (And no ~ do NOT start sending me religious resources.) This is not a religious crisis of spirit, its a spiritual crisis of spirit (yeah, I know…) but to me, its totally different…

Spirit, to me, is what you do with your life and how you live your life. And sure, what you accomplish in your life.

There are a lot of people throughout history who had this spirit. Some we know well. From Alexander the Great, who inspired men and ruled lands – even turning those he conquered into his devoted fans; to Shakespeare who entertained and conquered words – leaving phrases and plotlines and character archetypes for centuries of readers and writers to come.

But there are others as well… People who have this spirit and are never memorialized at all. From the soldier who gave his life to further an ideal; to the patron of arts – the person who financed writers and artists so they could sit in a pub and create all day. There’s the mother who devotes her life to carpools and school activities, and people like my husband who go to work every day, all day, just to give me an opportunity to do what I love.

Spirit is about more than conquering worlds, its about creating and utilizing resources, inspiring people, teaching and learning… Its about leaving the world a little better place than how you found it. Its about making a difference in the life of a person, an animal or even a geographical area.

Which leads me to my crisis of spirit. Too often, in this day and age, its easier to sell out…to take a job you know doesn’t fit, write something you don’t believe in, work for a company that goes against every fiber of your being… I should know because I’ve done it. I’ve done the work that doesn’t mean a thing to anyone. And I’ve hated it.

Being an entrepreneur, or writer, or artist – it’s hard. It’s hard because we sacrifice. A lot. And not only do we sacrifice, our families sacrifice. Only a few make it big. Those who don’t make it right away pay their own sacrifice – vacations, family time, nice “things,” health insurance; we pay higher taxes, have no “backup plan” and, well – you get the picture. Why wouldn’t you go back to work?

Sure, its possible that I’ll end up doing it again – that I’ll go back to work at some corporate drone factory. Because let’s face it – I’ve chosen two of the riskiest paths in life by becoming an entrepreneur and writer. Both careers are the equivalent of a crap shoot.

But we do what we have too – because, let’s face it – physical survival has to balance out survival of the soul. Like everyone in the world, I have taken jobs that have sucked the lifeblood from me, worked for companies corrupt in all they do. I’ve done things I’m not proud of. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t.

I’m not delusional. I know its not likely I’ll ever succeed in writing the great American novel, or discover a cure for cancer, or ever make history for my efforts in – well, anything. I don’t have children of my own, and never will, so passing along my DNA to another individual to somehow keep a piece of me living on forever, is not an option nor would I want it to be. And some would say that’s a good thing. Honestly, I wouldn’t disagree.

The bottom line is that this life is what I get – my one shot at doing something that will not result in obscurity. My great crisis in spirit is understanding (and then doing) what I can do right now.

I question if I can do it all… Maintain a healthy family life, work fulltime at a corporate gig as a writer (if I’m forced too), keep sales up, market the site, write six columns, freelance, continue developing PetsWeekly, and still complete a novel in the evenings and weekends?

Maybe. Its been done before. Hell, I’ve done it before… It circles back to the “crisis of spirit” and how many hours of sleep I need as a human entity.

At this point, its one day at a time. We’ll let things just work out and progress. And maybe, if I’m very fortunate, I’ll be able to resolve the crisis of entrepreneurial spirit. I’ll be able to do what I love, which is write. And good or bad, it will last for awhile.

So, tell me. What is your crisis of spirit and how are you working towards resolving it?

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