So many times I see entrepreneurs leave good projects, their dreams, and passion. The entrepreneurial journey is never a straight line. The glorified image of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and the rest are only part of a journey that has had equally as many downs than ups as other startups. Your journey is no different than any other journey, it will have highs and lows.
Last Saturday at 9:30 I was out with a crowd of about 50 other walkers/runners for a 32KM run. As they all started a leisurely stroll, I stayed back as I usually do and started a very slow jog and slowly passing them. The first part was downhill and soon what should have been an easy jog ended up being painful. My knee locked up more or less at KM 3 before we had even reached the bottom of the valley. I took notice of the pain and slowed down to adjust but it was too late. I had already pulled a tendon or a ligament. I could have turned around, but I decided to carry on. I tried running slowly, but it was too painful, so I walked. What would have normally taken me 3 hours max took me about 6 hours. I had to stop several times on route to sit and massage my knee so it would relax. The sun was blaring down, it was hot and I had not put any suncream on my arms. Not only was I in pain, but sometime around 13:00 I felt the sun burning through me. There were four fast runners in front of me, they had long disappeared. Another runner whom I also run with was suffering from back pain, we walked together for about 1km and he also had to abandon me. For the rest of the journey from Km 18 to 32, I was pretty much on my own.
I could have sat and called for help, I could have given up, however, I had one objective to finish. I wanted to prove to myself that even if it is painful I can push the pain barrier. I meditated, blanked my mind and I listen to Pink Floyd and Dire Straights. I rehearsed the many motivational speeches I give to keep me focused. It felt like a never-ending journey, but with every step, I knew that I am one step closer to the finish. With every step I knew that I am putting in the effort towards reaching my goal. In the end, I made it 16.24. I arrived at the finish line.
The last mile? Are you willing to go as far as it takes? Many times I see entrepreneurs give up too early. Whether it is a jog, marathon, or work, it is all the same. It all depends on how dedicated you are and how focused you are on your goal. If you keep your mind focused and remind yourself that with every step, you are one step closer to the finish, that’s all it takes.