The other day I was talking with a friend who thought she had sold her business six months ago. As the deal crumbled and fell apart my dear friend went from walking on cloud nine to feeling defeated and exhausted – like her business was an enormous burden that she’d never be able to get rid of.
Because she truly is having a hard time my friend probably feels like throwing in the towel, hiding under the covers and not showing up any more. She’s tired of struggling with her business and is very ready for things to get easier. Yet, she’s also experienced and savvy enough to know that true success is never going to come from any of the above choices, no matter how tempting they may be.
This friend has built successful businesses in the past, and she’s put far too much into the current venture to just walk away. As we discussed the situation she told me that she found some comfort in the fact that I (and probably every other business owner under the sun) could relate to where she was in her business, and to how real the struggles are.
We also talked about a mutual friend, “Susan”, who has recently found a buyer for her business, at a price of significantly more than she was expecting. I pointed out that just two short years ago Susan was on the phone with the two of us, despondent. She was in tears, was feeling like a huge failure with her business and was seriously about to throw in the towel. Well, Susan never did give up on her business and now it seems like that perseverance is going to pay off handsomely.
But the whole experience made me think about how cyclical things are, and how different difficult circumstances look days, months or years after the fact. One of the signs of experience and maturity is, I think, learning to realize that challenges will always come up but also that those tough times are temporary, with guaranteed brighter skies ahead. And that is certainly something worth keeping in mind as you navigate through both business and life.