Written by Jenkin Au
Edited by Jenkin Au
Photography by Jenkin Au

Along the path for an entrepreneur and a leader, passion and drive are traits which propel entrepreneurs to succeed and continue to do what they do. If there are bumps and hardships along the way, passion and drive allows the entrepreneur to soldier on and find solutions for what transpired. But when the problems, big or small, start becoming monstrous in every way, apathy starts to settle.

Apathy happens to everyone but when apathy stays for the long term is when an entrepreneur and leader becomes a useless one. There are many times when the leader tackles problems of all proportions with passion and energy and they feel like they are invincible – this is what they were meant to do. The problems range from dealing with your own staff and partners, to dealing with growing the company, to dealing with complaints and serious troubles. After successfully resolving that problem, the entrepreneur is blessed with a sense of strength and invincibility – how many times have you said to yourself, “I feel like I can take on the world”? If you are conditioned to know that this feeling and great rewards come from solving and defeating problems, then why does apathy set in? And more importantly, why does it stay?

Success is not a factor when apathy sets in. Whether you are the most successful entrepreneur or the least successful one, apathy can set in because of yourself. Personal growth and development causes you to change your own viewpoints on life and your own career. Entrepreneurship is one of the most rewarding experiences anyone can have and it is because of entrepreneurship that you develop yourself and change your way of thinking. There is a good chance that you will start to think about abandoning ship because what you do now is not what you want to be doing, what you’re doing now is not the best use of your time, and what you do now is not what you value. You may start to become tired of what you do, day in, day out, and you start to find other ways of doing it without having to actually do it yourself. This is the breeding ground and the starting point for apathy. When you start becoming comfortable in what other options you may see and put yourself in, apathy starts to take a permanent root in your life.

When this point hits you, you need to stop what you’re doing and reflect upon yourself. This means to completely stop doing your work because it is your work that is affecting your state of mind. Regroup yourself and re-evaluate your position – what do you really value? When you stop your work, do you long to do it again? Are you worried about how your idea and business is doing? Do you feel like it is worth something to you and it needs to be in your life? These are all questions that can be answered when you’re not working on the idea and business itself. At this point in time, you can come to a conclusion – it may not happen instantly and it may take a few breaks in order to reach this point of enlightenment. When you do, however, it is very unlikely that you’ll doubt yourself again and you will use your time wisely and effectively. It can only be the very worst before it starts getting better – this cliché is a cliché for a reason. Can it apply to you?