The emotional state of an entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is largely about belief.

Sometimes that belief is what keeps us going, but it can also lead to dangerous territory — like listening mostly to people who think the same things we do, or shelving deeper feelings for years only to find out later that they are subconsciously undermining our best work. 

A common mantra in the startup ecosystem (besides hustle, scale, and growth) is that you should test your assumptions. There are different approaches to testing, including the well known lean startup method that Eric Ries advocates for. It’s a concept that’s also well covered by Steve Blank, Seth Godin, and an array of designers, technologists and thinkers. 

With the exception of Seth, most of the time the language / framework for testing assumptions is focused on developing & designing a product or learning from customers, and rightfully so. As soon as an idea gets out of your head, into the real world, and beyond a small circle of people… that’s when challenging your assumptions becomes critical. 

But there’s another, slightly different way of thinking about it: you’re testing what you believe to be true, not only about your product but about yourself. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in how we avoid, deal with, process, or even embrace our emotional state in times of turmoil, whether it happens quickly or over a long period of time.

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