Friday, February 4, 2011
Swimming To England
I was thinking the other day about what running a business is like. What can you compare it to? What did I think of? Crossing the Atlantic. Swimming to England. "What?!" you may ask. How on Earth does this analogy work? Well, let me explain.
Crossing the Atlantic without a boat is a mighty big task. Heck, it's probably one of those impossible, never-ending tasks. You have this amazing goal in your head, and all you can do is work towards it. However, crossing the Atlantic isn't easy. You can't get there in one night, so you're going to have to take a rest. You may just float for a bit and let the waters carry you. If, however, you rest for too long, the waters will simply carry you back from whence you came (or you'll be eaten by a giant sea monster). So, after a short break, you must start swimming again. Crossing the Atlantic is hard...very hard. It's exhausting, and you'll often feel like you're alone, but you know that somewhere there's someone cheering you on.
That's the best way to describe starting and running a business. You're never going to stop. You're always working towards something. Sure, you have to let yourself and your business rest sometimes, but if you rest for too long nothing will change. You won't grow, and that ultimately will equal regression. Yes, it's exhausting, and that's why you have to love what your doing in order to do it. If I didn't love swimming, do you think I'd want to swim across the Atlantic? NO! If I didn't love working with dogs, do you think I'd continue a dog training business? Absolutely not.
Bear in mind, that this analogy is not just for running a business, though. It can work for almost anything in life...weight loss, schooling, starting a family...anything. The fact of the matter is, life isn't always easy. You're not going to be able to float to England. And, it isn't always fair. There are sometimes hurricanes to swim through or around. However, in the end, it's all worth it. Whether you're starting a business or trying to lose 500 pounds, in the end, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
Oh, and for those of you who have started a journey and have "failed," do not think of it as the end of your journey. Think of it simply as a new beginning. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from You've Got Mail. Birdie is talking to Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) about closing the shop her mother had opened and says, "You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life. Oh, I know it doesn't feel like that. You feel like a big fat failure now. But you're not. You are marching into the unknown armed with...nothing." So, whether your business has failed, or your marriage has failed, or your weight loss journey simply isn't going as planned, know that you are not a failure. You are victorious and brave, because you dared to do something different, something scary, and that is certainly not failure.