I have paid a high price over the past six years.
I used to think of myself as a sometimes flawed but generally well-intentioned person. Those who knew me well would agree that, even though I was (and still am) very ambitious, I was paradoxically not competitive at all. I felt that I had few adversaries as I treated people with a degree of kindness. I felt like I was generally well-liked.
That started to change six years ago as I became an entrepreneur, business owner, and financier. I had to deliver messages I’d never had to deliver before. I had to make painful, difficult decisions that I’d never had to make before. And I had to stand alone as the only enforcer of unpopular mandates that I believed necessary.
After decades of being a “good guy”, six years of having to do all of that have changed me.
I’ve become much more jaded. I discovered that my temper, previously rarely exposed, can challenge me for control. I’m now easily hurt. I’m emotionally fragile. I’m able to be a jerk when called for, something I didn’t know was within me.
For the first time in my life, I have a number of detractors and adversaries.
For the first time in my life, I have had to accept that certain people will never like me again.
For the first time in my life, I’ve lost friendships due to hiring and firing decisions.
What’s upsetting is that I’ve begun to accept all of this as a new me.
I don’t like my status quo but don’t see a way out until I’m no longer shouldering the burden of business. And even then, I won’t be able to undo the past.
But I haven’t come this far to only come this far.
Thus, I must continue. I must do do knowing that there is a real and heavy price to owning a business beyond my investment of time and money. It’s a price rarely discussed because it’s experienced by a few.
I am sharing my experiences transparently so as those considering entrepreneurship can have a complete calculus. I miss the old me.