Recently, I was fortunate to be able to make another trip to the ocean. The weather was somewhat stormy when I first got there. Waves were what I considered to be big. I am sure they were nowhere near what others would consider even significant. As I gazed out off the pier I saw several people floating on their surfboards. I spent some time observing their actions and as I did so I realized there are so many parallels between what they were doing and what it was like to start a new company.
You need to have an idea and a passion for what you do. You must be willing to get up in the morning with a drive to improve and a willingness to try. Grab your surfboard, put your second skin on and brave the water’s cold embrace. Starting a business is ignited by a passion, a belief that something needs fixing, that there is a problem that you can help solve, and ultimately that others feel needs a solution, whether they know it at the time or not. You take the plunge.
Practice. I would wait and watch as wave after wave passed by. Then one really good wave would come, the surfer would paddle, jump on her board only to fall off within a mere second. But she never gave up. In starting a business, it takes a lot of practice. Whether it is your sales story, the way you simply converse with potential clients or the presentations you give, you must practice and in doing so, gain confidence. Sometimes, often a lot of times, you won’t succeed. But you keep practicing.
Along with practice is patience. Each wave reveals its true character, sometimes too early, sometimes too late. The key is to wait for the next chance at success. And when that time comes she jumps on her board and gives it 100% effort. Patience is key in any business, whether it is a new one or not. Hard work will lead to success, but you can’t expect success on the very first wave that comes. Being patient allows you to prepare, plan and focus so when the next big break comes, you are ready.
And then comes her chance. She paddles hard, flips on her board and rides the wave. It only lasts a short while, but she did it, and it was amazing. I wanted to clap as I knew just how much effort it took for that one moment of time. It was beautiful and I knew that it wouldn’t be the last. When you get that break in business, celebrate the opportunity, execute it well and know that what you’ve been able to do was worth the practice, patience and reward.
“Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.