Your time spent in college is also the beginning of your emotional intelligence development. You find out about yourself in college. You enter with a small idea of what you want to be and leave with a frightening idea of what you don’t want to be.
Over the years I have become addicted to the passion that emotes from the souls of Collegiate Entrepreneurs. They are innovative, they understand market opportunities, they do not fear limitations, and perhaps most importantly, they provide an infusion of excitement into my staid life.
Some become successful entrepreneurs while in school. Others drop out to become successful entrepreneurs. And some take a little longer to launch. Some fail, some succeed, but all gain respect because they tried.
Successful, sustainable entrepreneurs have high levels of psychological capital, or PsyCaps, as identified by Fred Luthans, Ph.D. That is HERO—Hope, Efficacy, Resiliency and Optimism—and no doubt all you Collegiate Entrepreneurs out there have learned a thing or two from Dr. Luthans (not sure? Check your Organizational Behavior textbooks. Chances are he’s your author!).
Though all four are relevant, two of these concepts are germane to this communication: Efficacy and Resiliency.
Quite often student entrepreneurs create a self-imposed identity of entrepreneurship. It consumes their discretionary thoughts. It becomes their dream. Sometimes this can be emotionally devastating. Partnerships discovered over a beer, or during a discussion with a roommate suddenly dissolve when one party leaves in pursuit of other goals. Sometimes the product is beaten to the market by a superior offering, and sometimes, what the entrepreneur believes will work, simply doesn’t.
That is when efficacy has to be understood. Efficacy is about producing the desired results – or knowing when they are unreachable. Psychological resiliency is about how elastic your psychological approach to life can be. Can you bounce back after set-backs? Can you make changes in your business plan without emotionally shutting down? Now is the time to learn that.
You are your product’s brand image. But rarely are you the product. If your business model becomes non-viable, do not let it negatively impact your emotions. If you were a good person before you dipped your toe into the waters of entrepreneurship, you will still be a good person during and after your adventures if you can be resilient through failure.
Don’t let a failed dream lead to a failed life. Learn from it and make it fuel for your next one.