“Being alive is not a miracle, feeling alive is.” – Amit Abraham
I was watching on HBO MAX last night a show called Edge of the Earth. The first episode is watching 3 elite skiers and snowboarders go to a remote mountain in Alaska, and climb up the mountain to ski/snowboard down it! The last time I felt this stressed out watching a documentary was when Alex Honnold solo-climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan. The whole time I watched it I felt a mixture of awe, fear, disbelief, more fear, more awe, and finally relief.
In short, I thought these extreme athletes were absolutely crazy! However, I couldn’t help but feel a little envious of how alive they felt accomplishing a crazy feat no one else has done risking their lives for what they love.
What makes you feel most alive?
I feel most alive in my work. What I love about my work is the absolute thrill of not knowing how the day will unfold. Yes, I put in constraints so I don’t feel overwhelmed and scattered, but each day I feel so alive in the pursuit of a goal bigger than myself.
I think we don’t give ourselves enough credit as entrepreneurs for taking the upfront risk of starting a new venture. We have to deal with so much ambiguity day to day not knowing if all our hard work will eventually pay off (spoiler alert it pays off I just can’t tell you exactly when).
Contrast that choice of entrepreneurship versus someone with a job. The person with the job has way less ambiguity day to day. They have a process they follow with corporate rules to follow and a manager guiding them within those bumpers. However, if you think the cliche don’t put all your eggs in one basket is a wise truism… The job people are taking on way more risk!
The person with the job has only one income stream and they have no control over so many other factors. Management might be terrible or the market forces may be changing and the company is too big and too slow to react.
Entrepreneurs can create multiple streams of income and reduce their risk in so many ways, but they have to figure out how to solve the problems themselves. As a result, they get rewarded for taking on more “risk”.
The trojan horse reward for the entrepreneur is that elusive feeling of being totally alive living on the edge of their capabilities and growing each time they face the market and solve new interesting problems.
Next time you, as a growing entrepreneur, watch one of these extreme athletes remind yourself you too are doing things to make you feel more alive each day, but hopefully, your family doesn’t have to worry about you suffocating to death under an avalanche!
“Happiness is what matters, feeling alive-not art or knowledge or money.” – Marty Rubin