I've come to believe every business owner needs two things to grow a business: fried food and friends. Okay, so let me back up a second.
SCENE ONE: Camera pans from a messy couch filled with crumbs down to a brown hand snatching Tostidos from a family-sized bag of chips. The crumbs lead the camera to Jasmine laying on the floor trying to take deep breaths in between scarfing each tortilla chip. JD walks into the living room, stands over Jasmine, and asks her to give him the bag of chips. Enough, he says. You can't eat your way through your sadness. Can't I at least try, she asks.
SCENE TWO: The following night, Jasmine sits in a dark restaurant with a group of friends. Here, again, she's surrounded with fried food. When asked by friends, she admits her business isn't where it should be and compares herself to others.
So beyond the fried food (which, let's face it, always helps), there's something to be said about surrounding yourself with people who won't let you quit. These are the people who'll brainstorm amazing ideas on your behalf, who'll look you in the face to say, “You better fight,” and the people who'll dust the crumbs off your shirt. These people are the unsung heroes in business creation. They're not on payroll and don't get paid for the ad hoc therapy sessions, but they help you realize life is more than wallowing amongst empty bags of Tostidos.
To those people I say, “thank you.”
Over the past year I've learned that despite my efforts to hide from others–to valiantly mask my growing pains–there are people who refuse to let me fade. I owe them so much.
On a professional note, if you're building a business and you feel alone, I hope you know you're surrounded by people who are struggling in the same way. I discovered that by admitting my fear of failure and exposing my shortcomings, a network of people filled my gaps because that's what friends do. If you let them. I encourage you to take the time to invite at least three people into your private world because, with them, challenges become surmountable.