When I first started my own business, all I could see was a bright future, full of one success story after another. What a great thought!
As of this moment, as I write this blog, I can hardly see anything—no matter how bright it looks. My eyes are almost closed from lack of sleep.
Despite only having had only 2 hours of shut-eye in the last 24 hours, I am blissfully happy that I have managed to complete a client’s marketing project on time. All the aches and pains that I have are just reminders of my impending glory—and hopefully, improved wealth.
Is that why we entrepreneurs do this?
An uninformed observer may conclude that we spend hours agonizing about a job, struggling through tension, anxiety and uncomfortable conversations with staff, customers and prospects, just for the thrill of the sales chase.
Thrilling as entrepreneurship might be, with all the excitement of the initial contact, the pitch, the demonstration, the negotiation, the close, the transaction, and finally, the pay— it is not the reason that I am an entrepreneur. I am in this business because I love what I do.
This reminds me of a famous “Golden Age of Hollywood” song—“There’s No Business Like Show Business.”
Here are parts of the lyrics…
“There’s no people like show people,
they smile when they are low
Even with a turkey that you know will fold,
you may be stranded out in the cold
Still, you wouldn’t change it for a sack of gold,
let’s go on with the show…
Let’s go on with the show.”
The lesson for me is that the show must go on. No matter how stressed I get, and how many fires I have to put out, some celebrations come from being in control of the output and keeping my word to a customer.
And you know what? No pain, no gain.
I’ve always wanted to do the right thing more than I’ve wanted to avoid pain. I have developed a method that works for me during those moments of intense pressure—I have learnt to enjoy what I do.
But for those moments when worry will give in to self-doubt, here is a “time capsule” reminder.
Note to my future self.
With a few exceptions, every entrepreneur struggles through very dark and challenging times, but eventually, with endurance, they get something out of it. A lot depends on whether we have set realistic goals for ourselves or not.
The point is, just don’t quit too soon.