Sometimes starting a business is a lot like being a teenager.
It’s a rite of passage.
There are a multitude of growing pains as you’re trying to figure out your place in the world. You feel like you know everything, but the universe just keeps smacking you upside the back of the head, reminding you that you don’t.
Plus, there is no shortage of people with infinitely more experience than you telling you all the things you should and should not be doing - and how you’re doing it all wrong either way.
But at the end of the day, you are going to have to make your own mistakes and learn your own lessons. And it is through these lessons that you become the well-rounded, successful businessperson that you’ve always wanted to be.
Of all those lessons, there is one that you should be truly glad you got to the opportunity to learn the hard way. And that is…
There is no such thing as instant success.
I’m sure you remember when you first set out on this adventure.
You had an amazing idea for a service or product. You created the world’s greatest business plan, and you enthusiastically embarked on the most incredible journey of your life – one that would certainly bring financial security and maybe even a little fame and name recognition.
Ready, set… go!
Uhhh… why isn’t this going anywhere?!
As you surely discovered, there truly is no such thing as instant success. (Ask any of these people who failed miserably before becoming the superstars we know today.)
And let’s face it, failing is miserable. Rejection is miserable. Silence and disappointment are miserable.
But it’s not the failure or the rejection that matters; it’s the lessons you learn along the way.
To paraphrase Thomas Edison: “I have not failed 10,000 times… I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work.”
Think about it.
How many things do you know better, do better, feel better about today than you did when you first started your business? If someone had handed you instant success on a platter, you wouldn’t have gained that knowledge and/or experience.
Your business was forged in fire.
Forged in fire is one of my favorite expressions. It is not just a statement of durability and fortitude – although that part is pretty cool, too.
More importantly, though, it can be the mantra that gets you through the toughest times in your career. It is a reminder that not only ‘this too shall pass,’ but that this too shall pass, and afterwards, you will be smarter, tougher, and more capable for the experience.
And this lesson – this harsh, maddening, hair-pulling, crying, yelling, absolute-brink-of-giving-up-and-quitting lesson – is the one that successful business owners ultimately cherish the most.
So take a moment and reflect on your journey – or if you’re just getting started, take a deep breath – and be thankful for the struggle. Be thankful for the hardships and the suffering. And most of all, be thankful for the fire.
Not only did that fire fortify your resolve, but it also lit the spark inside of you that fuels your drive to be successful every single day.
It’s through adversity and harsh trials and tribulations that we find our true strength, and successful business owners typically have plenty of battle scars to prove it. Be proud of your journey, and be grateful for the lesson!
I am a working mom with a degree in Business Administration. My career passions include hunting down pesky commas and exploring the dark underbelly of Microsoft Word. I live to edit and edit to live!
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