Just because the landscape never changes, doesn’t mean you’re not making progress.
Why entrepreneurship is like driving to Ohio
I attended college about six hours from my hometown. To me, four hundred miles was far away enough to feel like I was an independent adult, but close enough where I could still come home for free food and laundry on a long weekend.
Something I noticed, though, when driving between home and college, was the landscape. Or lack thereof. Because when you’re driving six hours across prairie states, it seems like a bit of infinite regression. Endless forward motion without much visible result.
Little did I know at the time, that’s exactly what starting a business feels like. You’re doing the work and putting in the hours and trying to move the story forward each day. You’re wearing the sales and marketing and operations and customer service hats equally. And you’re chipping away at those first one hundred units to prove your salt to the marketplace.
Meanwhile, you’re wondering when the hell you’re going to start seeing some real progress. Because currently, all you can see is that goddamn golden ribbon of road in front of you. Beyond that is nothing but full darkness.
Unfortunately, there is no practical solution to this problem. You can only drive so many miles per hour before you start endangering the passengers and attracting the attention of the highway patrol.
But that’s the nature of entrepreneurship. It’s one long exercise in patience, delayed gratification and most of all, trust. Trusting that the horizon will shift upwards. Trusting that you won’t fall asleep behind the wheel. And trusting that you won’t run out of gas in the middle of the night and veer off into a ditch full of deer carcasses and beer cans.
The point is, just because the landscape never changes, doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. Learn to accept and even embrace the dull, unspectacular slog that is running a business. You’ll arrive at your destination eventually.
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How are you handling the frustration of endless forward motion without much visible result?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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