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5 truths that have left me 10 years of failures and successes as an entrepreneur

A look back at my 10-year entrepreneurial journey and how it can help you get through yours.

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
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A little more than 10 years have passed since I started my entrepreneurial path. Ten years of doubts, fears, learning, victories, failures, joys and disappointments.

I started in the entrepreneurial world when I was 20 years old, I was still in college. It has been so long that it seems inconceivable to me that this journey has started since then.

HIVAN ARVIZU vía Unsplash

But every trip, regardless of its duration, leaves its learnings, and a 10-year-old one leaves very valuable lessons that I share with you today:

You will fail at some point

My journey began with the idea of a group of friends who were looking to start a business. I really ended up there because they considered me fit to help them. In fact, we signed up for an incubation program to guide us through the process.

Image: the blowup via Unsplash

The months passed and I learned a lot. I was stung; I had really been interested in the topic of starting and running a business. It was exciting and hopeful. Unfortunately, the business idea never came to fruition. But it was an experience that changed the course of my future.

My first attempt was a total failure. Why? I would sum it up in lack of commitment. And just as I failed to build my first company, you may fail too. You probably go further on your first try than those 4 college students who left their potential business due to minor complications. But every entrepreneur eventually stumbles for one reason or another. Failure haunts us, it is a matter of time. The best thing you can do is accept the idea that you will fail, and that that's okay. Failure makes us learn. It is not wise to believe that you will always make the right decisions and avoid every possible failure.

Accept failures on your way, learn from them, and never take them to heart.

Start from your passion

In the last semesters of my college career, I enrolled in various entrepreneurship classes. And based on that I decided to form my own company in 2013. What was the company about? It was a hasty and disorganized effort to unite my new love for entrepreneurship and Information Technology (which I studied): a consulting agency for SMEs; I wanted to bring the benefits of Information Technology (ICT) to companies that were unaware of its potential.

It took three years of trying to grow a company with a business model that seemed simple to execute, but with which I never found the formula to make it a success; And all for a simple reason: I was not so immersed in it. That was what I discovered in 2016, something was not 'clicking' inside me. He was disenchanted with ICT, despite having studied and founded a company for it. I didn't really feel passion in my work.

Where would I end up finding that passion? In writing and speaking in public.

To understand this, we must go back to the end of 2012: with all the knowledge that I quickly obtained when starting a business idea and the specialized classes that I took, I decided to promote a passion that I had since childhood: writing. I started a blog and began to write all my opinions, impressions and experiences from the world of entrepreneurship.

Knowledge is power, but it has to be applied / Image: matthew Feeney via Unsplash

At the end of 2013, someone suggested that I write a book. Thus I became a published author. But the most important thing was that doing this opened the door to the world of conferences for me. In the following years I toured various cities, universities and communities sharing not only my books but also my ideas and my entrepreneurial path. And that filled me up completely.

Entrepreneurship is a job. And a job should not only reward you financially, but also satisfy a feeling of belonging, relevance and meaning. A job based on your passion can give you this. Passion for your business will help you through times of trouble, encourage you to keep going despite obstacles, and ease countless hours of hard work.

Discover your passion and create a business around it. You will thank me.

Crises always come when you least expect them

Finding my passion I decided to put my company aside. I closed. I said to myself: "No more of this." It was the right decision at the time. I felt it. I was sure that my path now was to expose my ideas in more books and more conferences, with which I could motivate and teach a little of the entrepreneurial world to anyone who had that spark and curiosity to take the first step. I could see it clearly ...

But in life nothing is easy. I don't want to overwhelm you with details, but the years between 2016 and 2018 were brutal for me. I ended up facing a crisis that broke my spirit. I developed a fear of my path, and for a long time I was still, immobile, paralyzed.

Image: the blowup via Unsplash

However, I made small attempts during those years to gain recognition as a writer and speaker; I continued to share content for entrepreneurs on the blog and gave conferences where they gave me the opportunity and when my health allowed it. I got to a point where I thought I was getting closer to a physical and professional stability, I could see the possibility of coming out of the hole.

But at the end of 2019 I experienced a relapse, again I found myself struggling with a crisis that was devouring my desire to continue growing. It seemed that my body was trying to tell me something or at least preparing me for what everyone was going to suffer in the following years.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I want you to know that life is unexpected and that you should not neglect your life. Just because you've found your passion doesn't make you exempt from working hard, failing, and having to worry about other areas of your life. In my case, it was my health that was affected. You must be vigilant, and try to cope with the crisis as well as possible. They may be unavoidable, but you must have a persistent attitude towards them. Regardless of when they arrive.

In all uncertainty there is opportunity

2020: Blessed (with M) Pandemic. The world came to a complete standstill.

Ironically, the world crisis made my crisis fade little by little. Months passed and I felt more confident in recovering. But the contingency kept getting longer and longer. We were all taken careless. A couple of months ended up being more than a whole year.

But when there is uncertainty, there is opportunity.

My opportunity was to polish my craft. I took courses on copywriting, creative writing, public speaking, and even created a newsletter for the people I came in contact with in all my years as an entrepreneur. I believed that people might need words of encouragement and learning in such difficult times. And he was right. I found new ways to share my ideas, writing and profession. And it is so in all crises. There is always an area where the opportunity for growth exists. As they say: "you buy when the markets go down." Take advantage of the moments of change.

Image: Razvan Chisu via Unsplash

And now we are in the last stretch of 2021, facing the inevitable post-pandemic world. And the entrepreneurial path seems to have found its destiny. I could not write exactly what awaits me, I only know that I must be confident and prepare. In your case, reader, I can only leave you one more lesson as a thank you for getting here:

You are not alone and you should not be.

Do not feel alone. Many entrepreneurs who have succeeded and / or failed have felt alone. The entrepreneurial path tends to be lonely. But it just feels that way, because it really shouldn't be.

Many of my endeavors as an entrepreneur were solo, especially the older I got. But today I tell you, in all sincerity, that you should avoid walking the road alone. Do not start to undertake on your own, look for a mentor, ally with people who may be interested in your business idea, seek to convince friends, school / work colleagues, etc. It is better for your idea and for you.

Two heads are better than one, and three are better than two, and so on. Don't cease your idea. Don't close your world.

The opinions and advice of others can nurture your idea. There is nothing wrong with not knowing everything. Allow yourself to accept not knowing everything. Entrepreneurs don't have to be a dodoologist. It does not work like that. The entrepreneurial ecosystem is vast and welcomes everyone.

I repeat: You are not alone .