Frank wasn’t able to sleep last night looking forward to this moment…
He is nervous but excited as he gets ready for his date. The mere thought of what’s to come dominates his mind and fuels him with purpose. His hand trembles with excitement as he does his tie. He wants to make the perfect impression and no detail is to be spared in his grooming.
He feels like he found “the one” – the one that finally gives true meaning to his life; the one he’s been waiting for all his life.
Reflecting back, he felt like a lost soul until now and he’s determined to make the best of it and to give everything he’s got.
The first three months of his courtship goes perfectly. Cloud nine, butterflies in his stomach, spring to his steps, head over heels… he experiences all of it. He feels like a completely different person fueled by love. He feels like he’s on top of the world whenever he’s with his “the one.”
But alas. this euphoria doesn’t last…
Fast-forward another three months and Frank quivers at the mere thought of his “the one…” He’s exhausted from lack of sleep and his eyes are only held open by the liters of caffeine injected in his tired, demoralized, and down-trodden body. His friends complain they never see him anymore.
Frank doesn’t know if “the one” is worth it anymore. Each date takes a bit more out of him – more energy, more time, more attention, more of everything. Each date makes him wonder if it’s all worth it and if somehow, the balance will right itself and he will reap the rewards – whatever that may be.
He hates how impatient he feels and hates even more how selfish he sounds. After all, he knows that relationships take time and work but he didn’t think it would demand this much.
He can’t help but wonder what happened to the excitement and the romance. The “butterflies in his stomach” feeling has since been replaced by the “anvil upside the head” feeling. It’s dreadful.
Frank has no more to give. And yet… “the one” demands more and challenges him to give more. Frank doesn’t know how much longer he can keep going like this; he’s tormented. Does he give up the 3 months of investment he’s already made and call it quits or does he charge forward clinging onto blind faith and lured by the elusive odds of success?
Frank is yet another victim of the entrepreneurship Siren – seduced by the potential for success but dismissively under-prepared for the tiresome journey that lies ahead.
The first three months of Frank’s “love story” is the entrepreneurial “honeymoon period.” Everything is fresh and exciting! You only dreamed of your business idea and now… you can’t believe it but NOW… you are actually bringing it to life!
You have a plan, you have the means, and gosh-darn-it you’re committed. You are going to do whatever it takes because it’s YOUR dream and no one can dare deny you of your dream. Your adrenaline pumps at the mere thought of your once-in-a-lifetime business idea; you stay up late working on your idea, you can’t sleep because your brain won’t stop thinking about it, and you spend your waking moments day-dreaming about it.
The first three months are smooth sailing. Nothing gets you down and nothing seems to go wrong.
But hoo-boy, you’re kidding yourself if you think that “nothing can go wrong” streak can keep going for much longer.
I am here to tell you that nothing is going wrong because you haven’t done anything of significance yet to dignify a visit from Murphy’s Law. No, that visit… that badge of honor, has to be earned. That only comes with hard work, sleepless nights, and the guts to get out of your comfort zone and attempt something you’ve never dared before.
That only comes after the honeymoon period. And then Murphy’s Law comes knocking.
Your (business) world will get turned upside down. Like Frank, you will wake up bitter and jaded. You will go to sleep bug-eyed and delirious. And you will ask yourself these poignant questions…
“What is this all for? WHY am I doing this? I don’t have to do this. I didn’t need this before and I certainly don’t need this now…“
That nagging voice inside your head will grow louder and louder telling you to stop, to quit, and that it’s not worth it. You have to understand that that nagging voice was there from the beginning of your endeavor but it was drowned out by the hype from the other voice that is looking to the prosperous hopefully-near future.
As Frank is beginning to realize, the true test of your grit and commitment to your business and entrepreneurial pursuit doesn’t begin until the end of the honeymoon period.
Anybody can start a business and anybody can be excited when things are going as planned.
But the select few are bold and driven enough to persevere through the hard times – when nothing seems to go right, and when Murphy’s Law has taken up seemingly-permanent residence within your business.
And trust me… the hard times will come. Stick around and take heart in knowing that it is around this time when most of your would-be competitors quit while you continue to push ahead. It is during these times when your true character is tested and you must draw strength from your grit and sheer-will power.
Onward and upward.