Ignite: The roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship

Ian Graham knows a fair bit about entrepreneurship.

After running his own consulting agency for years, he then took an even bigger plunge and opened The Code Factory, a co-working space in Ottawa.

In presenting on entrepreneurship at last night’s Ignite Ottawa speed presentation series, Graham illustrated the up and down roller coaster ride that is going out on your own.

Through the downs is coping with fears: Fear of pain, fear of failure and fear of darkness.

“It’s like being at the North Pole waiting for the sun to rise,” said Graham. “Only it takes twice as long.”

Then there’s copying with demons, both internal and external.

For example, those people who will continually ask, “Why are you doing this?” “Why don’t you get a job?”

Graham’s reply to those questions was blunt: “F**k that!”

He noted that even Henry Ford experienced failures before becoming one of the biggest brands in the world.

The ups in the beginning of an enterprise will be the small victories, said Graham.

“Hard work leads to small victories,” he said. “Focus on those small victories.”

Then, enjoy working for yourself.

“If you start your own business, you decide what you work on,” he said.

“Enjoy the ride,” he added. “Even going up and down is fun if you have the right frame of mind.”