I just had a chat with a friend about how acquaintances usually do not understand why we had not gone back to looking for decent-paying corporate jobs and instead are toiling (yeah, like farmers with their handheld tillers) to get our startup businesses to profit.
Why, we thought, would they think that gaining back a corporate job is the ultimate sign of success? Then, it hit us. Well, they simply cannot wrap their minds around why we would not take the easier route: get a job, have a monthly salary—and live happily ever after. And then there are the odds: Statistics show that eight out of 10 new microbusinesses will fail within their two years of operations.
In retrospect, their look of bewilderment never failed to make me feel like how Joseph the Dreamer might have felt when he was first thrown into a pit, helpless as he looked up at this brothers’ faces.
Not for the Faint Hearted
Okay, I was just exaggerating. It felt more like being thrown under the bus (rather than into the pit). But you get the drift, right?
Have you ever felt that same “you up there, me down here feeling”? Never mind the fact that these people that had belittled your decision (although their intentions were without malice, mostly), had been in the same job for a decade without any promotion. Thing is, there are those who still view a newbie entrepreneur trying to gain traction in his business as a notch lower than the serial employee in the Heirarchy of Success.
To regain my ebbing confidence, I turned to Google and looked for validation. And boom! There it was: The blinding vision that was Michael Jordan—he who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, voted NBA Most Valuable Player five times and NBA Finals MVP six times, owner of the Charlotte Hornets team, and whose net worth in 2015 was estimated at $1 billion by Forbes Magazine.
But these were not the points that made be feel better.
It was this one:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.”
The Trials and Tribulations of a Newbie Entrepreneur
And so, let it be said: Every entrepreneur faces the specter of failure right on Day 1. After all, there is no guarantee that he had chosen the right business to get into.
And if he did choose the right business to enter, he would next have to figure out the right customers, and what they really, really need so he can offer them the right product.