Exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, I looked at Jaspar and nodded my head. “You’ll be fine,” he said. I couldn’t even speak. The next day I was to give a presentation to a business networking group that we were apart of. It was an informal thing, a group of lifestyle entrepreneurs having breakfast once a week to share leads. With the million and one things I had going on at the time, I hadn’t found the time to plan for the presentation. So there I was, ten p.m. the night before, totally unprepared.
When I got home I threw myself on to my bed and heaved, heavy sobbing cries. I yelled into the mattress and let the frustration, disappointment and sadness that had built over the previous months spill out. The presentation would come and go. I’m fortunate enough to thrive on speaking to large groups of people, and do well off the cuff. But this was about something more. I had poured my heart into the business for the past year, and here I was stuck in a morning networking group, presenting in hopes of a few hours of outsourcable work. I was supposed to be making tens of thousands of dollars a month by this point. I was supposed to be traveling the world, while my business ran itself. Instead I was doing almost all of the work myself. I was managing a small team in Manila, marketing online, selling in person and staying up at night to make sure the work was done right, all while living at my parents house and making zero dollars.
That was a year ago. If the first year in business taught me anything it is that things always take longer. Humans are optimists, we constantly underestimate the time it will take to accomplish things. Some would say learning patience is the answer. To me patience isn’t enough. Patience implies waiting. Success in business isn’t about waiting. It’s about working ceaselessly, for as long as it takes, until it is done. It’s about riding the emotional roller coaster, keeping the long view in mind, maintain perspective. In short building a business requires persistence.
Things that will very likely happen while building your business include:
- You will be told it’s a dumb idea.
- Employees will quit because they no longer believe in the idea.
- People will sue you.
- Clients will write you angry emails that may or may not make you feel like a failure.
- You will find out someone is stealing from you.
- You will have to sue people.
- Your friends will make more money than you.
- You will work longer hours than your friends.
- You will wonder why the hell you did this in the first place.
Everyone of these things has happened to me more than once over the past two years.
Persistence has kept me going.