Success is oftentimes non-linear. It takes time to find your stride before seeing monumental leaps in your success. However, not everyone gets to experience the exponential growth phase that makes it all worth it because they quit before they hit the inflection point.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the archetypal story of the guy that’s digging and digging, just a few feet away from hitting a life-changing gold mine, but he quits right before he strikes it rich. This might be a rare occurrence in the mining world, but it isn’t in the entrepreneur one. Many quit way too soon not giving themselves enough time to catch their stride.
I don’t blame anyone though. Entrepreneurship can be hard, especially if you’re new to it. It takes a certain type of gutsiness that most can’t stomach. But if you’re still here, there is hope.
Play the Long Game
I’d like to give you some insight into how to play the long game allowing you enough time to get the wind underneath you.
I think when you know something is going to be hard, you’re more prepared to face it. So let me tell you right now, entrepreneurship can be hard. I’m not trying to be negative. I’m trying to be realistic so you know what you’re up against.
Elon Musk knew that starting Tesla and SpaceX was going to be hard. He said he probably had a 10% chance of succeeding, but because the endeavors were important to him, it was worth taking the risk.
You might not be building the next company to land spaceships on Mars but building anything of value to the marketplace is hard.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. If you know it’s hard but set your mind that you’re going to succeed no matter what, the chances of success start seeming more inevitable. It doesn’t have to be that particular business you’re doing right now that is going to succeed. But if you decide to yourself you’re going to be successful (whatever that looks like to you) no matter the odds and setbacks, more often than not, you’ll be successful.
I’ve personally known friends that have tried multiple businesses seeing mild success and some failures but almost all of them have finally hit their stride and are seeing massive successes and upsides to their endeavors because they didn’t quit.
You’re Going to Suck in the Beginning
Let’s face it, you’re going to suck at anything you do in the beginning. It’s just part of the game. But the good thing is, eventually you get better and better and better.
What used to be hard for you is now easy. As you continue to grow and learn new things, it’ll be hard again. But as you look back, many of the things that were hard are now things you can do while you’re sleeping. It’s not that the situation gets easier, you get better.
It’s like lifting weights. The two 25lb plates on the bench press seemed like the hardest thing in the world. You felt like your chest was going to explode and the weights would collapse on your head. Over time, you’re doing two 45lb plates on both sides with relative ease. The 25lb plates now seem like a cakewalk. The weight value didn’t change. You changed.
The most important thing is knowing you’re going to suck in the beginning and make mistakes. But the more you purposefully learn and grow, things become easier and you get better. Your results with eventually catch up.
So if you’re going to suck anyway, just start! Start and keep going. When you look back, you’ll acknowledge you weren’t perfect but you’ll be happily surprised with how far you’ve come along as long as you stick with it.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
The biggest drain to anyone’s attitude and fuels the desire to quit is the comparison game. When you’re starting out a business, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others that might be doing better than you.
Here’s a tip — Just don’t do it.
You don’t know where that person started from and you don’t know what they’ve been through. No one starts out in the same place and no one has the same upbringing. Some kids might have had parents that were billionaires and gave their kids the best possible upbringing. They were groomed for business.
The 18-year-old millionaire kid might not have had a stellar upbringing but instead, experience poverty and brokenness early on. This motivation caused him to spend every single night learning everything he could about business and busted his butt. He was forced to work hard every day because he needed to eat.
All this to say, you just don’t know someone’s story. Forget about their story and work on your story. You were built differently. You were raised differently. You were given your own unique set up circumstances, so instead of focusing on others, find your unique story. Forget about the rest.
Find Your Uniqueness
There is usually an exploratory phase in the entrepreneurship world. You don’t typically start out doing the exact business best fit for your passions, personality, and natural talent.
When I started in the business world, I was involved with businesses and roles that didn’t quite fit well. But I did learn aspects of a business that I liked and other aspects not so much. Over time, because I explored different opportunities, I’d discover ones that really excited me and worked well with my personality and natural talents.
A good indication you’ve found something like that is you feel energized with the work that you do and you enjoy it. You aren’t going to like all aspects of it, but nevertheless, the majority of the work will feel like play for you. Time will fly and you’ll feel yourself more in the flow state.
With anything you do, do your best and resist the temptation to quit because it’s hard. BUT don’t be afraid to pivot your business or leave it altogether if in the long run isn’t a great fit for your passions, personality, and natural talents.
Stick to your success plans long enough and you’ll eventually find your sweet spot.
That’s the secret.
If you’re able to experiment and stick in the game long enough, you’ll find something that is perfect for your disposition. It’s something you’ll enjoy doing. It fits well with your personality and you can get really good at it. When you find something like that, say hello to seeing your hard work pay off, both financially and in enjoyment.
Enjoy The Process
The last thing I’ll leave you with — enjoy the process. Most of our life is spent working so might as well enjoy it. If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’ll most likely burn out. If possible, find something you like doing that the market is willing to pay for, then enjoy the ride. The process toward your definition of success might not be all roses and daisies but if you learn to just enjoy the journey to get there, you’ll be much better off.
Learn to play the long game and let your hidden potential do the work!