I’m not perfect – I’m an entrepreneur
“Just do the work, kid”
I just got back from the blissful joy of getting married. We had a fairytale wedding in the south of Italy, all our loved ones gathered at an old castle for 3 whole days, drinking, dancing and celebrating our love. It was amazing. Two days after the wedding we left for our honeymoon, 17 days at Bali, and obviously that was amazing too.
My point is, I should be head-over-heels happy, but I’m not. I’m worried.
Worried about roccamore, my team, my mission and all the decisions I take every day. If they are the right ones. If there’s something I’m missing. If I could have done better, should have known better or acted differently. And it’s killing me. Literally. My doctor just looked me straight in the eyes, for the second time, trying to make me understand the facts. That my body is shutting down, that I’m losing abilities and will create permanent damages if I don’t stop. To worry. Now.
Being an entrepreneur means that you are wired a certain way. Think a certain way. Believe that you can act yourself out of any situation, any circumstance or obstacle. It’s just a matter of execution. Of action. Of commitment. Unfortunately, this way of thinking also means everything is your responsibility. Your fault. Hence the worrying. Which some people call stress.
Trying to understand what my doctor told me and how to cope with it, I listen to a lot of TED Talks and inspirational videos and 2 of them really stuck with me. Changed the way I think. The first one is from Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer of Eat, Pray, Love, talking about the pressure of having her best work behind her and how to ever overcome that. How to write a new book that won’t immediately become a disappointment. She talks about creativity and how people perceived that in the old days. How it was thought to be an external spirit or genie, that would sometimes show up, sometimes not, and how, whenever you produced something amazing, a work of art, it wasn’t because you were an amazingly talented artist. It was because of your spirit, your genie. Because it showed up for work. Hence the concept “being genius”.
And it worked both ways. If your work wasn’t any good, it wasn’t your fault, it was because you had a bad genie. Everyone knew that and accepted it as the truth. Simple as that. Elizabeth Gilbert ended her talk saying that she had finally decided to think of her creativity in the old way. Decided that it came from a genie and that she would continue showing up for work. Doing her part. And then the genie better show up for work as well. Do its part. And if it didn’t show up, if she had been assigned a bad genie, it simply wouldn’t be her fault, her responsibility. Simple as that.
The other talk that really inspired me was one of Matt Damon. Similar topic. Talking about his old teacher who said “Just do the work kid” so many times that it really stuck with him. Shaped him as an actor. Just do the work. Your work. And the rest isn’t your responsibility. Not your problem.
Without being too philosophical, my point is this. To myself and whoever can relate to my thoughts. Stop worrying. Just show up and do the work, and the genie will too. And if it doesn’t, it’s not your fault, it’s not even your responsibility. You did your best. You showed up for work.