“It’s not a hill, it’s a mountain when you start the climb…” U2

The early days of a startup are filled with expectations and a never-ending list of tasks, networking events, and moments of euphoria and anxiety. The Great Idea sustains you for a little while and then…it feels like you’re slogging through mud up the steepest slope. You’re working on tweaking your product/service so it’s even better, you need money, you want to work with more clients, you feel guilty relaxing, you feel pressured to do so much on your own.

It’s…just…taking…so…long…

In the last 2 weeks, I’ve had a couple of clients talk about how their startups are not progressing as quickly as they expected. Since they are bootstrapping (who isn’t these days? That’s a whole other post and I’m digressing.), they are seeing their money go out and not come back with quick or large returns. There is a need for a steady income to take care of household responsibilities. They want the acknowledgement that your market gives you when your product or service is in demand. They still believe in their Great Idea but it is taking more work and more time than they anticipated.

It is a lonely place. Even with a business partner. You may have been told recently that “these things take time, hang in there, everyone is having a hard time.” This does make sense but it doesn’t really change anything. The hard part is changing your perspective. As Bono also sings, “A change of heart comes so slow.” When one perspective clashes with another, it’s hard to know what to believe, think, or feel. Go back to the reason you started your business in the first place and take a look at the three questions that are your cornerstone. What answers do you discover? How much fire is in your belly to keep moving forward? What would happen if you took a day away to clear your head?

Not every mountain is Mt. Everest. There are small, big ones, steep climbs, gentler climbs. Establishing your business is not a quick process but it is worthwhile. If we’re honest, that’s not always a mindset that is easy to maintain.

What does your mountain feel like?

How does your perspective affect your motivation to work towards your business’ growth?

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