This week marks the launch of my latest book, The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Each day this week, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from the book, along with some additional commentary and a challenge question for entrepreneurs to ponder, as it relates to the reading.
“Congruence. No person for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850
Quite often the very thing that leads many to strike out on their own is an attempt to bring their business and personal lives in alignment. The corporate culture they had entered and adopted no longer feels congruent with their personal goals.
Congruence by definition implies sameness, agreement, harmony or compatibility, all concepts made wholly real by following an entrepreneurial vision. So it’s terribly ironic then that when the amazing fresh opportunity afforded the entrepreneur is coupled with the day-to-day pressure to build a business, people are easily pushed farther and faster out of congruence than when they started. Remember playing crack the whip at the ice skating rink as a kid? It kind of feels like that. This looks like working more hours than is healthy or necessary, promoting products and services you don’t use or believe in, asking others to do things you are unwilling to do, or worse, wearing one face to yourself and another to your team, your employees, and your loved ones. In geometry, when starting two triangles are congruent, you might use a complex formula, but in your entrepreneurial quest, it’s even more complex.
The challenge question: How is your life a reflection of the gift you need to bring to others and how is it not?