Building a business is hard. It tests areas of your life you didn’t even know existed, not to mention areas that could unravel.
I’ve never really dealt well with a challenge. I’ve detailed this before. But starting a business has amplified every impulse within me to simply give up and shrink back.
Recently I began running three times a week. It’s been so good. Increased fitness levels, stabilising my core, getting out into the fresh air are some of the benefits I’m experiencing. But the greatest benefit is the training of my mind. Running is one of the best ways to build the strength of mind and the capacity to be resilient and keep going.
Most mornings, everything within me wants to give up. My body hurts, my legs ache and my self-talk turns destructive. But the grit and determination that is created to just keep going are building my mental muscle.
My business is a little like this. There have been so many times that I’ve wanted to just give up and go back to a job. I’ve just wanted to throw it all in and consider the last 9 months as some kind of crazy experiment. This last week I’ve been heading to bed with a stirring, a deep sense of discontentedness.
It’s been strange.
Marketing questions at midnight. Financial worries at 3 am. Business development ideas at 5 am. It’s a circus of surprises!
Then my alarm rings out at six. It’s the sudden jolt I need to jumpstart my day, to get my mind going in the right direction. To slip on my joggers and get moving.
As I run I pray. My constant murmurings ring out with the same tone “I’m in this for the long haul. I’m in this for the long haul“.
It’s a mantra uncommon to my make-up. It’s not my fall-back position to be in something for a long length of time. I’m a bit of start-up guy. I get bored easily. I like trying new things, moving to new horizons.
But this time, I’m determined to do it differently.
Perseverance is becoming my default. It has too. It’s certainly not easy, especially on those days when nothing seems to go to plan. On those days when I wonder if I’ve got what it takes and when I’m short on solutions.
These days are the worst.
Most days the only thing that keeps me going is the vision of what I’m searching to complete, the hopes and dreams that are burnt on my soul. Furthermore, the vision of life back in a 9-5er keeps me motivated. I don’t really want to go back there. That is not my idea of a life well lived.
I really wish I had an answer for how I’m getting through this. Like four things I’m doing to make it through, to keep going, to keep learning and persisting. I’d like to share these with you – some tips or tricks.
But I don’t. I have nothing. I have no secret method.
And I’m OK with that. I’m fine with the uncertainty of the journey because I’m clear on the destination. Even that at times has a foggy filter across it.
The age old adage has been comforting: “anything worth having is worth fighting for”. And it’s true.
No doubt there are things that I could (or should) be doing. But I’m not in a hurry. I’m not here to provide a quick fix, a 3 step plan or something else that leaves me or other people in chains.
I’m here to help restore people.
My purpose for this whole thing is to bring freedom to people. To help them smell it, taste it, touch it, explore it – then receive and create it.
Free them from mediocrity, from destructive patterns, from dead-end jobs, from boring careers, from an infatuation with self, from a future filled with fear.
I’m here to create safe spaces for people to go deep. To ask the questions they really want to explore. To talk about topics and have conversations that really matter to them.
And none of that can be achieved quickly. None of those things can be faked – they can only be created organically.
The crappy days are crap don’t get me wrong. I certainly aim for faster results, increased amounts of mulla in the bank and more time spent holding the conversations that matter.
But I recognise I need to be patient, to hear the stories I’m whispering to myself and turn them into a new story.
The areas I’m targeting with my business cannot be addressed quickly or with simple remedies. It requires a deep dive into the conscience of your own heart, to unravel the knots in your own life and work your way into the life you truly want to live.
But those knots are deep and they are tight.
Mental health isn’t overcome in a single session.
Lifestyle design doesn’t happen overnight.
Career planning takes months to uncover the dreams which are hidden deep.
Relationships are built through moments of vulnerability, not a single vulnerable moment.
Identity is born out of knowing others and being known by them.
The future is deep and the path is narrow. We don’t need more guru’s signing us up to the silver bullet or the magic pill.
We need midwives birthing into reality the stories of you and me.
We need people to create empathy with others, to understand and to listen, to seek out solutions of service, charity and love – not success, happiness and achievement.
The way is long and the road is hard, but when the days get crappy, the vision gets clear.
And for that reason, I’m thankful for the crappy business days.