I recently was on the phone with a friend of mine and he asked me how my life was. I told him bits and pieces of what was going on, the same story I tell most people and then he said okay, now tell me about the project you told me you are working on that you spoke to me about a month ago. He was referring to something that keeps me up at night researching statistics, creating decks, analyzing competition; my huge vision, which I have been working on for a year, and continually comes up in conversation even though I try to brush it off.
Entrepreneurs have a lot of "projects" they are always "a part of." The world of entrepreneurs is a high energy, big dream, amplified world of brainstorm sessions. A lot of my friends are entrepreneurs or are about to leave their full time roles to become entrepreneurs and I have noticed at times we all get so carried up in conversations about our visions and dreams, we forget to actually think about brushing our teeth, or getting incorporated or performing any other normal behavior which may just turn our idea into a business.
I have a lot of mentors and people I trust who give me advice. I have surrounded myself with people and partners who tell me like it is, are smarter than me and keep me grounded, but sometimes when you meet someone who asks you the right questions, gets deep into your psyche and who shares your visions, it is almost impossible to not get swept away by the conversation.
I started telling my friend on the phone the new iteration my idea had taken on, starting off just integrating it into the conversation playing it cool as if we were on a first date. He had a similar dream years ago and he started throwing out statistics and information, which had me park on the side of the road to passionately (I think I was probably yelling in excitement) respond. We were having this awesome, intense conversation driven by this dream, which had been a part of my life now for a year. It felt like the very moment when on a first date with a stranger, you think wow; I didn't know how awesome this would be.
I am overly excited about a lot of things, but my friend said, "I have never heard you speak about something like this, its good to know how passionate you really are." I joked afterwards, it was almost like he was speaking a love language to me, I felt overwhelmed with passion in the conversation. It made me realize I have had similar conversations with numerous people from the opposite sex about this topic and there were times I actually thought I had crushes on them because there was so much energy in between us. After this conversation in which my passion and intensity were all towards this idea and making it into a reality, I realized how amazing it is to feel so much towards something bigger than yourself.
I think most people would think I'm a little crazy for saying I'm in love with an idea I'm deeply passionate about, and that I am swept away by work, but I know until I can make this dream into a reality, I will not stop being swept away by emotion. It's a delicate balance of maintaining realistic expectations, keeping myself surrounded by people who can give me advice, making sure I don't fall on my face and get hurt but always tapping into the feeling of inspiration, excitement and desire to keep me dreaming. It's funny: being an entrepreneur is a lot like being in love if you think about it. You are going after what you love under any and all circumstances, you see the world with rose-colored glasses at times, you need to surround yourself with friends and mentors who guide you in this journey when you are frustrated and don't know why "he" (maybe an investor or a client) didn't call you back.
When the right guy in the room asks me the right question, I can be standing in a corner with him for two hours or talking on the phone with him screaming on the sidewalk. I have had numerous people ask me in those times of connection, "Woah, are you guys in love or something?" Going forward, I will respond I think so; we have a shared vision, a deep connection over something bigger than ourselves and if that isn't love, I don't know what is.
Follow Amanda Slavin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ajslavin