Sometimes a personal narrative is the best way to make a point. For this blog post, I’m going to tell you about an experience that taught me invaluable lessons.
In 1991, I started my first business developing niche software products. I made a small home office and hung up a single poster showing a man running by himself on an open road and written below it was: Perseverance: On the road to success there is never a crowd on the extra mile.
Call it perseverance, stamina, determination, tenacity, or what have you, I knew from the beginning this concept was important. I didn’t realize how important it was or how often it would become an issue.
Before my first time establishing a business, I had a corporate job as a consultant and product developer. From this position, I had a glimpse into the future concerning demand for software at the level of the personal PC.
Spurred by the inspiration I got from The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale, I decided I had a plan for a future with a new business that would require my dogged determination.
As often happens with entrepreneurs and a great idea, I was at that time in no position to sink capital into a new business. I even had to borrow a PC to start my coding. However, I did get my business going, and soon enough I was getting tech support calls to the answering machine at my home office. I answered these during lunch with a phone at the Marriott Hotel down the street from my day job.
I slowly made progress, selling one software license at a time using direct mail. I stuffed envelopes into the late hours of the night. My wife and I were dealing with raising children, and it was almost to my surprise that we coped at all.
Eventually, things came to a head. I let go of my secure, even promising job with the corporation and sunk everything into my personal business.
That very same day, I got a legal notice advising me to cease and desist from all business activities or face legal ramifications. My software used a public database for which I had now lost permission to use.
The timing was stunning, even theatrical. But I didn’t quit.
Instead, I vowed:
- I will never give up.
- I may change course, revamp my plan, or learn from my mistakes, but I will reach my destination.
- I will view every hurdle as an opportunity, every challenge as a chance to grow, and every setback as a time to reassess before pushing harder than ever.
- What matters most is that I grind away daily, every day, without end or exception, until I reach my goal.
If you decide to change your life, know for a fact that something daunting, even stunning, probably will get in your way at some point. You cannot let it stop you. Once you have figured out what new path you want to follow in life, don’t let roadblocks turn you back.