I often get asked about the best business advice I've ever received, and it's a question with a simple answer:
"Don’t quit! That’s the most important thing in order to be successful. Most people quit moments before success will hit. When you’re struggling, tie a knot at the end of the rope and hang on."
These are words to live by, especially when and if you’re trying to turn your dreams and passions into a reality. Things get tough. No matter who you are or what you’re going after. Nothing is ever going to be a simple, straight line to success – it wouldn’t feel fulfilling if it all came easy. You have to fight for success. It requires heart, soul and a whole heap of hard work.
But once you get there, you’ll love every minute of it. And, once you get there, you’ll realize “there” means setting new goals, trying harder and striving for more. Finding success is the journey of a lifetime, completely defined by you and what brings you the most satisfaction, but it’s going to be tough. It’s going to challenge your mind and body and hanging on is the only option to getting there.
When you set out on a path to build something like a business, you’re passionate. You know in your heart it’s the next big thing, but you also know it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get there. What you may not know is that there will be many stumbling blocks along the way. Not everything will go as smoothly as you had planned. Things will take longer, be more difficult than you expect and people will let you down. But all you have to do is hang on. It’s amazing how it works.
Let’s say you’re starting your own business and you’ve gotten everything aligned. You have your product ready to go and your business plan in place. You’re passionate, excited and you even have a small team to work with. But now it’s time to find a retail space. You search and search, but nothing is perfect. Some spaces are too expensive, some need too much work, some don’t have the right vibe and some have restrictions on the lease that are just not going to fly. You spend months searching for that perfect spot to turn all those dreams into a reality and you feel like you’ll never actually find it. Finally, you’re at a cross road: do you give up? Do you throw your hands in the air and walk away? Or do you keep on searching? How about starting an online shop in the meantime? Something you can run right from your home. The space will come. That moment will happen, but it could take many more months, even a year. So creative solutions are where it’s at.
How about those of you who have started a small business, gotten it off the ground and it’s really rocking and rolling. It’s doing so well, that you find yourself in a position where you need to hire some help. You have a very limited budget, but you can no longer work around the clock as a one-person show. You get the search underway and you hire someone, but they don’t work out. You hire someone else and they don’t work out. You’re having trouble finding someone who shares your passion and commitment, but you’ve got to have the help. It’s so frustrating. But do you give up? Do you throw in the towel and walk away or do you get creative with your search? You get creative of course! Put the word out there in your circle of friends and in the local business community. You network. You explain exactly the type of person you’re looking for. Trust me on this: the stars will align. You’ll find that person. But you have to stick out, be patient and get through the tough moments to find the one.
And, for anyone who’s trying to build a client-based business, you may find yourself struggling along for quite a while. You have to land that first client. The one who will stick by you through thick and thin and be your champion to the world. Once you find one, he or she will tell everyone and suddenly you’ll have two. Then the two will spread the word and you’ll find yourself with three. It goes on and on, but it’s slow and you have to be at your absolute best every single time you’re working with these clients because it’s on them to spread the word. When you stick to it, you’ll see results. You’ll see those numbers, double and then triple – and, pretty soon you won’t be able to handle all the business. So stick it out and stay dedicated. Nothing worth having comes quickly or easily.
It won’t be easy. There will be times when you’ll want to give up or quit, but just when those moments come – if you push past – you’ll find that success. You’ll reach that goal.