The Struggle Within

I was apprehensive at first when I sat down to write this post. Most of you, in fact, I assume that all of you reading this are established entrepreneurs well versed in most things business related. So what am I going to write about? I’m writing about the struggle and the hunger and hope that keeps us centred on the road to entrepreneurship.

Why start out in the first place?

I started my journey down this path because I know there is a better life out there for myself and my family.

The thoughts of having different streams of income and being in control of my destiny not only appeals greatly to me but is essential in the times we live in if we are to have any kind of guarantee of being financially free or at least comfortable. I’m not taking some fairytale rose tinted view of the entrepreneurial life. I’m talking about being able to stand up and say that yes I achieved X amount of money this week, month or year and also that I am to blame for the bad weeks too. Gone are the days of having a ‘job for life’ and for the average person survival on a single income is now a thing of the past.

I used to work full time as a carpenter and I was convinced that I would one day own my own business. Looking back I never really gave much thought to the scale I wanted that business to reach.In 2008, like so many others, the rug was pulled very much out from under my feet during the economic crash.The lifestyle I had grown accustomed to, was literally, overnight, gone.

The struggle

This is a struggle for me to write as I wouldn’t class myself as an entrepreneur yet, maybe a wantrepreneur. Now, I do run three martial arts classes but being brutally honest it’s a labour of love as, if I were in this for the money alone I would’ve stopped years ago. However, that being said, the positive impact I’ve had on some of the children that have come through the doors of our dojo has astounded me, even some of the adults have commented on the positive effects to their lives training has had on them. Again I don’t take credit for this as I’m merely a medium through which this martial art can be delivered to the world.

I have had my share of self doubt, highs and lows, and been told to throw the towel in, cut my losses and stop the classes. I’ve been up against all sorts of unforeseen problems, halls closing, needing to find new places to train in a short period of time, short for the rent, chasing people for fees. I do all my promotion and advertising myself, so I guess that is the entrepreneurial spirit in itself.

I have sought to try my entrepreneurial hand at coaching. So why would I be any different to the countless others that have come before me, fallen at the first hurdle and limped off into obscurity never to be seen or heard from again?

The will to win

The will to win is my difference, anything I have ever truly put my mind to I have excelled at. I don’t say this in arrogance it’s just something that I have been able to tune into my subconscious. This also is something we all have the ability to do in anything we set our minds to.

In a previous position I held in my current place of employment, I was, for a lot of people the go-to guy to talk about their problems, even in times when I really didn’t want to hear and needed time to myself, I was being called on. Now, before I go on, I’m not mother Theresa either, there were and still are a good number of people that can’t stand the sight of me and I’m perfectly fine with that. This had gone on over numerous months until I reached the point where I had to say enough is enough and sit by myself in another area where I could have my breaks in peace. Over time, more people would come and sit with me, most were there for the same reason (peace and quiet) but over time people would trickle down.

If you’ve ever tried meditating in front of people it’s a real test of whether or not you really don’t care what people think.

I got to a point where I’d stick on some headphones and listen to a guided meditation. 10 minutes recharging and I’m back on form. The point of all this is that I said to my wife one day that really I should be getting paid for this, and really, I should. This was my aha moment and the start of my journey into coaching.

I’ve begun my education and training to get my certification digitally but really I intend to work off of testimonials rather than waiting to get a piece of paper saying that I’m fit for the job. While I see the need to be certified I think this is one field of work where your reputation should really speak for itself. I wouldn’t attempt business coaching, I am looking at life coaching.

Another reason that I’m not certified as yet is a lack of funds. I don’t have the few thousand euro available to me to stop working and get a full-time education in coaching. I am working in the background at the moment to acquire as much knowledge as I can. I’ve stopped listening to music in my car and I’m either listening to podcasts or audiobooks. I’m not sure if it was Aubrey Marcus (from onnit.com) that coined the phrase ‘mindfilness’ (as opposed to mindfulness). This is how he describes the practice of using your commute time to optimum benefit by educating yourself in the process.

So what keeps me going, especially as I’m 43 years old?

The next Mark Zuckerberg is out there, maybe hasn’t been born yet. They have nothing, no experience and have to start from scratch. I should be sorted by now but there’s no reason I can’t be successful.

As a parenting blogger, I look at the world my children are growing up in, how the chances of getting summer jobs are fairly minimal. How I teach them that they can achieve anything they want in life if they only believe in themselves. Well, how better way for them to believe this than to lead by example?

Keith Whelan
About Keith Whelan 1 Article
Keith has a diploma in security business management, is a qualified carpenter with over a decades experience, has a certificate in audio engineering and a multiple black belt in martial arts.He is an aspiring life coach, working full time for an international airline while running a parenting blog and juggling a busy family life with running three martial arts classes.Strongly identifying as an introvert he uses this mindset in approaching all aspects of life through a lens of mindfulness while keeping true to his core values and principles.

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