I recently returned home from an epic retreat with a group of other adventurous entrepreneurs. Because the retreat was booked over the first and second nights of Hanukkah, I brought a menorah with me, so I could share with them this unique ritual that I celebrate each year. As I was Googling about how to explain the symbolism of this holiday to a group of mostly Christmas celebrators...I found out something I had never known before. I learned that the name of the holiday, Hanukkah, comes from the Hebrew word for “dedication.”
When I think about the holiday, in its most basic story...it's a message of victory in the face of adversity, and the miracle of light! But I loved the idea of considering dedication, as it reminded me of the CONSTANT and UNRELENTING DEDICATION it takes to be an entrepreneur...
In the story of Hanukkah, the Romans are the antagonists...forcing the Jewish people to assimilate to their culture. But the Jewish people stay committed to their way of life, and do not give up the fight. As newly established entrepreneurs...we face not only our internal demons, that ask questions like...am I worthy enough to create my own destiny? Am I allowed to ask for this much money for my services? Will I be able to close a sale?! But we also face external demons like our friends and family members, who want to know when we are going to go back and get a "real job?"
The journey of entrepreneurship is about finding one's purpose, taking one's fate into their own hands...and fighting past the demons to get to the light at the end of the tunnel! And Hanukkah reminds us...there is light when we stay dedicated to what matters most to us.
Even if you are not Jewish, I wish you a Happy Hannukah, and a wonderful holiday season filled with love and inspiration.
May you remember what it is in the world that you are dedicated to, why it matters most to you, and continue sharing your message, even when the going gets rough.