From an entrepreneur who gave it all up, here are five simple lessons to remember.

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I sold my business last October and started a slow, perpetual life of traveling.

My business had been my focus for seven years. During this period, revenues increased exponentially. My work was recognized nationally and regionally. However, my mental and physical health were hit hard. My personal development stagnated, and my relationships suffered.

Moving on was necessary. Now is the time to get away from the pressure and busyness. Now is the time for simplicity and minimalism. Rather than more, let’s focus on less.

What did I learn after 8 months, and what can other entrepreneurs or those considering starting their own business learn?

  1. Owning your own business is not as important as having an entrepreneurial mindset.

A few months after selling my business, I changed my LinkedIn status to “ex-entrepreneur.” I changed my mind when I realized I wouldn’t be an ex.

It is my passion to come up with innovative solutions to difficult problems. It is enjoyable for me to create my work and develop new ideas. Taking charge of my financial future.

Entrepreneurship is still a passion of mine. 

Whether or not you have a business, an entrepreneurial mindset can still be applied to your life and work. While working for a larger organization, you can still act as an entrepreneur. Being self-employed isn’t an excuse for not acting like an entrepreneur.

  1. Life doesn’t have to follow a linear path. You should live your life according to your rules and follow your heart.

No matter how high up the ladder I had reached, I could always jump off and start right at the bottom again just because I was the boss of my own company.

If I want to, I can even sit around here if I don’t feel like climbing.

Our path in life does not have to be linear, unlike what we were told when we were younger or what our parents expected of us.

There’s no need to keep going up. Various careers are possible for you. It is also possible to give up all that stress and responsibility to live a simpler life.

  1. You shouldn’t use tunnel vision.

Every waking moment of my life was consumed by my business, like a cliché entrepreneur.

To the moment, I finally fell into a fitful (and frequently alcohol-induced) sleep after being ordered out of bed by my to-do list in the morning.

Since I left business ownership, I have made an incredible discovery: I can focus on several different things at once.

Writing for Medium is something I can dedicate time to. Produce an audio course. Contribute to the winery of a friend. Any of them does not overtake my life.

Maintaining balance in your life may be easier if you focus on multiple small projects instead of one all-consuming business.

  1. Success and growth are two different things.

Exactly like a bear trap, I fell right in. Success was defined as winning awards, making money, or growing. The definition of success goes beyond that.

An interviewer asked how I thought about success now that I had left my “successful” company behind. As far as I can tell, the best reason I feel successful is that I’m no longer chasing success. In a conventional sense, success does not have a conventional definition.

 Success doesn’t have to be a result of external factors.

Life is simple for me, where I get to live and work wherever I want. I’m more than satisfied with that level of success.

Everyone defines success differently, and yours can be whatever you want it to be. Instead of seeking approval from others, focus on internal validation.

  1. A simpler lifestyle has its rewards.

It’s great to be productive. In other words, it’s a means to an end, not an end in itself.

Working hard, checking items off of my list, and never letting anything hold me back. Those were the signs of an effective day at the time.

After leaving the business behind, I realized that the actual work I was doing was neither rewarding nor fulfilling in any way. Writing a content piece that resonates with readers gives me more joy and purpose than beating this year’s sales targets.

An organized life focusing on simple tasks can be more fulfilling than a busy schedule full of “important” daily tasks.

What an entrepreneur learned from leaving it all behind

Entrepreneurship is great – taking chances, making money my way. Thinking creatively is what I love.

My mistake was not learning I could do all of these things without a business.

As for my career path, I’m happy that it is not linear, and I am just starting at the bottom again. It can be most fulfilling to do simple, meaningful work. The definition of success I have redefined makes me the happiest.

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