When you’re building something there is no middle ground. I wish there was, but there isn’t. There is up and there is down.
I oscillate between overwhelming despair and fleeting euphoria.
Despair and euphoria. That’s it.
Sometimes you can go through weeks of pretty solid euphoria, which then appears to be normalcy. Until despair kicks in and then you’re fucked. Back down to earth with a thump.
Building an integrated retail business at Nic Harry has been complicated and intricate. We have a solid business that is growing but that growth hides the despair/euphoria paradox.
This paradox is not unique to me or my company. I am not alone in these ups and down but no one talks about it and that’s bullshit. I wish that more accomplished entrepreneurs would talk about their despair and euphoria when it arrives, however fleeting it may be.
One of the most frustrating things I hear is that everyone should start a business and be an entrepreneur. That’s scary and dangerous advice given by rank amateurs who clearly have no clue of what they preach about. This shit is intense! It’s amazing, scary, brutal, easy, hard, high and low all at once. It’s never simple. It’s never just easy or just hard. It’s never one thing for too long. If it feels easy right now then difficult is around the corner. If you’re deep in the shit, then the dawn is around the corner so don’t be afraid of the dark.
I’d love for more entrepreneurs to talk openly and honestly about their tough times. Don’t hide behind them, they define you. From what I hear, it’s a lot like child birth; you forget the fleeting pain of child birth in favour of the long term happiness of your child’s existence (unless your kid is an asshole, then you’re in for a world of pain). That’s business. You forget the pain of bringing your business into the world in favour of the long term potential of success.
If this sounds tough and puts you off, it should. Building businesses isn’t easy. It’s not fair. It’s going to be incredibly fun and euphoric and simultaneously tough and desperate. Don’t fool yourself, what we do is hard and not for everyone. Proceed at your own peril!
Tell me about your brief encounters with these two states. Which one are you in right now and why? Let me know, I’m keen to learn from your experiences and share in our shared despair and euphoria.
Also published on Medium.