The Entrepreneur’s Secret: “The Trick Is Not Minding That It Hurts”

“The trick is not minding that it hurts.” That is the mindset of all great entrepreneurs. It’s knowing that it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be hard, really hard, and even hurt, emotionally and monetarily in the beginning, and potentially for a pro-longed period of time, without knowing when the pain will stop. The entrepreneur can never lose faith in what they are doing, never give up, only charge forward and plow through or re-position and pivot out of challenging situations.

Often successful entrepreneurs look unscathed on the surface from the journey’s they have taken, but the truth is, it’s not easy for anyone.  It’s painful, and leaves scars, and everyone bleeds, but we’re made stronger and more durable to withstand even larger challenges ahead. This is the secret truth for all entrepreneurs.  We all know the statistics, most will fail, but we believe we’re different and we will succeed. Knowing it’s going to hurt, doesn’t make it hurt less, but it mentally prepares the entrepreneur for their journey.

The ultimate pain for some, is never being done, but that is what is at the center of every entrepreneur’s soul. We don’t want to be done.  We want to keep improving what we started, and if that means tearing it down and starting over again, so be it. We are builders. We’re all starting mini-fires, trying to make bonfires. We find it’s easy to get started, to light that first match, and the initial inspiration brings the initial excitement.

What’s hard, is turning that flame at the end of a match into a bonfire.  If you don’t put that flame to work quickly, but instead hold the match for too long, you’ll get burnt, and never start a fire.  And if you’re good enough to start a fire with one match, what’s even harder is knowing whether to fuel the fire or to put it out.  Is there enough current demand for your product or service or should you close shop, and how long will you wait to find out?  If the fire isn’t growing on its  own, you can only blow on it so much until you’re blue in the face.

As entrepreneurs, our tendency is to always keep fueling the fire, even if the logs aren’t catching, because we believe it’s just a matter of time until the fire gets hot enough to lite bigger branches.  Entrepreneurs will even try re-using burnt logs.  Eventually entrepreneurs learn you can only go back to the same well so many times until its empty, and then you’ll need to find other sources for fuel.  But at some point, you and your fuel suppliers have to decide if it’s worth continuing to fuel that fire, because it can be far more painful (and costly) to keep the fire going, than to extinguish it.  However, if things are going well and you continue to grow, transitioning from a small fire to an up and coming medium size fire, then you will find that larger financial resources become more available, and funds will start offering you not just branches, but larger and larger trees to burn.

No mater what, from building to extinguishing, for entrepreneurs “the trick is not minding that it hurts.” You can’t have a boiling point or a breaking point. You can only do what needs to be done.  Execute.  Focus on building your bonfire, but don’t try to lite the trunk of a tree until you can burn a twig, and get the fire started as soon as you can.  Starting a company is not magic, but it takes thick skin to master the illusion and turn your idea into reality.