Last night I was having a conversation with my financial advisor when we started talking about perseverance and what it REALLY takes to build a business. I was fairly amazed at how different her perspective was after a decade in her own company than mine was after a little over four years full-time.
In the world where marketing experts hype about going from zero to six figures in six months or selling $200K from the stage in one easy step, the reality for most business owners is different. Even when you're cruising with rocket fuel it takes time, effort, experimentation, and a willingness to go the distance to grow and thrive. There's a reason so many businesses fail in less than five years. From my perspective it's because they either:
1) Ran out of money
2) Simply ran out of energy to keep at it.
Sure there is the failure to plan and just plain bad business ideas, but once you have a solid business sense about you, money and energy become the crucial elements. Most people just don't want to keep at it that long. Most people aren't willing to do what it takes, they only want to do what is comfortable or convenient.
Credit Image: iwoma_kellie on Flickr
Believe me... I know the feeling. It's been a little over four years since my last corporate paycheck (that sounds like an opening to a recovery group, right?) and it has been an eye-opening, blessing filled journey. When an early mentor of mine said that entrepreneurship is the fastest path to personal growth you'll ever know, she wasn't kidding. Throw in the fact that the economy has ranged from bipolar to worse than a screaming chicken little over this time period and it makes for some emotional moments. The key to my success has been to minimize the drama, commit to getting the support I need, do deep personal development work, and keep at it.
I do a lot of cycling and one day I was on a 40 mile ride with the local club (playing the role of caboose as usual) and the ride leader dropped back to check on me. He said to me, "You know Paula I can always count on you to keep going. You might not be the fastest rider in the bunch but you keep at it and always finish." At the time, exhausted and sucking wind on a hot summer day I didn't think much of it. Over time this statement has really hit home. It's about consistently and continually showing up. That is where the true success lies.
So if you're feeling discouraged or ready to give up, I want to shine a light for you. Of course you don't want to stick your head in the sand (this is why I have mentors and advisers who can look at things objectively and with different expertise) - but don't be so willing to sit back and let what you really want pass you by. Get up, get going, and get real. Most importantly if you commit to building a strong foundation, then you need to keep at it.
I would love to hear what your stories are about starting, growing, or even closing your own business. I'd also love to hear from you in terms of what your greatest challenges are - What do you want to know? What do you fear? What would you most like to learn about career, entrepreneurship, recareering, leadership, or work-life balance?
Look forward to hearing from you in the comments..
Paula Gregorowicz, The Intuitive Intelligence™ Coach
Download the Free Report: Your Own Uniqueness: The Path to Purpose, Prosperity, and Playfulness at http://www.intuitiveintelligencecoaching
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