I know that feeling all too well, it’s the biggest problem all new entrepreneurs face. You’re sitting in the coffee shop down the road having just completed an email pitch to seduce the potential investor you met at that over-priced convention. This is the email that took you a full 3 weeks to research and craft. This is also the email that will likely end up unseen in a junk folder. You’re feeling a little deflated and knowing that no truly good work comes from a miserable mind, you decide that you need to get that fire in your heart blazing again.
So you hop onto LinkedIn and see that a talented friend of yours has just landed his start-up a contract with a big new distributor, you see news of two multi-million dollar corporations merging and you see that a former business giant has just collapsed. It all seems so dramatic! Such theatrics! Then the sound of the coffee machine churning out another Pumpkin Spiced Latte for a yoga-pants wearing yummy mummy breaks you from your trance and you peek at your inbox to see no new emails.
You sigh, there seems to be so much distance between where you are and where you know you are meant to be. And here it is! The biggest problem all new entrepreneurs face and what you’ll face when hustling and grinding towards your destiny is the damn quiet of it all. The seeming void into which you propel your ideas, your products and your dreams. Whilst the business world seemingly bucks and rears like an overstimulated bronco, you sit gloomily waiting for something, anything, to happen.
Best Business Advice
But before you give up hope entirely, let me tell you the best business advice I was ever told. The market will respond to you once you’re giving it enough value, until then everything you do is an exercise in increasing your value. If things seem slow right now, it’s not because you, your product or your idea necessarily sucks (although they may need some finessing), it’s more that your ability to deliver intrinsic value at scale is not yet honed.
But you are becoming this person and assuming you don’t give up, you are more likely to break through with every single day dedicated to your dream. It’s also supremely important to remember that the mass media will always only showcase the extremes of life, the hero’s and villains, the winners and losers and the living and dying. The reason is clear, mundanity and the everyday grind are just not interesting enough to capture anyone’s attention.
Although we are all aware of this in a conversational sense, we rarely associate the quiet coffee shop hustle we are experiencing with the celebrated successes within business. We also never give ourselves the credit we deserve for what we have already achieved. Conventional wisdom dictates that it can take between two to three years for a new business to turn a profit and some of the biggest global businesses took far longer to break through.
As creators and entrepreneurs, we must learn how to keep our fire stoked without immediate, external validation. The all-enfolding silence may seem distant from where we know we will eventually arrive, but we need to learn to keep faith that as long as we persist, as long as we keep working on ourselves and as long as we keep developing a deeper empathy for the people we will serve, we have a shot at making this happen.
Keep Up The Good Fight
A great place to start with this, when you’re feeling bruised from the hustle, is to remember that the market will respond to you as soon as you are giving it enough value. Until then, every single day you spend with your dream in your heart is moving you closer. Just keep pushing yourself out there, keep innovating and tweaking and ensure that you give yourself the mental space to allow inspiration to strike. Your on the path to overcoming the biggest problem all entrepreneurs face.
The Olympic gold medallist didn’t truly win the gold on the day she ran the race. She won it every single time she pushed herself to train when she didn’t feel motivated to, she won it by focusing her attention on one outcome and not giving up hope and she won it when she didn’t allow insipid negativity to creep in when nothing felt like it was moving.
So the next time you’re sitting in the coffee shop down the road, having sent an email that may never see the light of day, remember that today is the day you made your first million dollars, today is the day you became the CEO of a company changing the world in a beautiful way and today is the day that your dream came true. Not because your bank account will reflect this, nor because your business peers will see this but because today’s grind is connected to that eventual success.
Because in this day of becoming, should you not lose hope, you are transforming into the person capable of giving enough value that the market reacts.