By Rooda Al Neama,
“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn: It can be stabbed to death by a joke or worried to death by a frown on the wrong person’s brow.” Charles Browder. This quote resembles everything that is the birth of an idea, like a match that is flamed by an instant spark, and then put out by a blow, a wind or the A.C in the corner. Everyone nowadays is dreaming of being an entrepreneur, wanting to create that spark, if only its as easy as thinking it up.
Dreaming the idea and creating your empire in your head holds the most motivating feeling, pushing you to thrive and create it by any means necessary. I, myself want to create my own empire, my own business, that reflects the things I am passionate about and care about and in going through that journey I realized its so much tougher when you go out in the real world to make it happen.
We always hear of the success stories that motivate us to go and see if our idea will turn into a success story, and feel the sense of achievement they felt. But before the success comes the trap infested meandering road of the entrepreneur. Tough to navigate through, and at any moment you can get stuck in a swamp, fall through a hole, or hit a brick wall.
I am now stuck in a swamp in my phase of taking my idea into reality. After working on various aspects and visualizing launching, soon I found myself stationary and trying to find a way out. Looking for guidance I went through the success stories and how all of them were also stuck in a swamp at some stage and eventually got through it.
I came across “The persistence test” which comes from the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, and he believes that “there is a hidden guide whose duty is to test people through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying arrive and then the world cries, Bravo! I knew you could do it.” The hidden guide makes sure that you only enjoy great achievement if you pass the persistence test. Upon reflecting on it some more, I felt that maybe the test was to see if you really are passionate about your endeavor, maybe its also showing you a different path, that you may be unhappy doing X, but will be happier exploring Y or Z.
I asked a few of my friends who have started their own businesses about their experience with the swamp and how they got over the hardships. Jinanne Tabra founder of ARABOH.COM said she felt as an entrepreneur she is doing a little bit of everything, and sometimes it seems as though everything is a challenge. It can be very overwhelming, until you break it into smaller tasks. I definitely felt the same way about trying to manage everything, it would get so overwhelming that I practically walked myself into the swamp.
Jinanne also said that “the biggest challenge is the learning curve, you have to learn everything, and you have to learn quick. You will make mistakes. But at the end of the day, you are learning by doing. So in a way, you are lucky that you get to keep making mistakes and keep learning. Overall, I have learned that being successful does not have to mean running one of the biggest companies in the world. The best feeling of accomplishment comes when a single customer tells me that ARABOH.com has made a difference in their life.”
Rana El Sekhawy founder of URBANSOUQ.COM also shared the same hardships when starting up saying “one of the hardest and most rewarding things I ever experienced, is to start something completely new and have people put you down and not believe in you is extremely hard and frustrating. But the end result of proving them wrong, contributing to the society and getting great feedback from your audience makes it all so worthwhile.”
Both Jinanne and Rana reached a point where the positive results of what they do motivate them and help them overcome the hardships. They both mention difficulties at the start before there were any customers or results, that is the stage where I believe you get your first taste of the PRESISTANCE TEST. I definitely want to reach the stage where the results make it worthwhile but until then, I get to see if I pass the test, or have the test divert me into other things.
For all those wanting to start their own business believe in your idea so much, so that when you get to the swamp you will have it there to pick you right up! If not then find a post it and write down S.Honda’s quote, “Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents one percent of your work which results from 99 percent that is called failure” and remember that is one percent gone out of the way!