The Dark side of Entrepreneurship


A friend of mine recently attempted suicide, he slit his wrist with a blunt knife. He is a dreamer like I am; someone cursed with the insatiable desire to create things. It broke me to see the consistence with which he applied the blunt knife to his forearm: he did it with the same vigour with which he had chased his dreams.  The knife wouldn't go through so he tried harder and harder. 

Entrepreneurship is the bipolar pursuit of an impossible thing. Very often when we start on the path do we know how far we'would have to go and how much of our lives we must give for an idea to become real. He was an orphan child that had given all of himself to his dream, now there was nothing left to give,  and no life left to live after it crashed and burned. 

I wanted to tell him it would get better; I couldn't... I couldn't even open my mouth for fear that my own demons who seemed far away these days would hear my false certainty and remember where I lived... I wanted to help, I couldn't either- he was the few friends I often called to laugh about being broke. All I could do was stay on the phone for as long as he needed, talking about nothing...

A dream is a dangerous thing, it's the invisible reality that asks for the exchange of your life for it's chance of becoming real - it's why there are very few real dreamers out there and fewer who get to live those dreams. 

Any dream you've given your life to will require you to constantly recommit yourself to it in obscurity and times of failure. Perhaps we all like Moses and Martin Luther may only ever see the promised lands afar off...  And perhaps this fact that our dreams will always be beyond our reach is one we must learn to embrace while we chase it wholeheartedly. Maybe that's the secret to not giving in,  maybe that's how we hold on to a little piece of life and sanity that our dreams can never take from us.

There are no rose coloured glasses through which to look at the dark side of entrepreneurship. To some people, this might seem trivial, but there is no trivialising anything that causes anyone to feel like staying alive is worthless.  A failed business ails a lot like a broken heart; and just like broken hearts, perhaps the best thing to do is to fall in love again. Fall in love with a new idea, a new dream, a new reason to keep breathing, a new chance at success, and maybe this time, you'll be loved back.

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