Have you been struggling in your business, or know someone who is? We all need a boost from a colleague who has been on the rough roads we currently trod, to remind us that this is all part of the journey. In this beautiful post from guest expert, Elena Patrice, reminds us all that there is a light at the end of every tunnel, and you can get there. Perhaps this is just what you needed to read today, or it’s simply a great reminder of how we all need to keep things in perspective. Thanks, Elena!
As an entrepreneur you have your fair share of obstacles, and as a woman entrepreneur there can be even greater hurdles to overcome. One of the most important things to remember it far more about the journey than the destination – since that always seems to change. The destination can change as you grow and accomplish; the journey molds you along the way. History is filled with great stories of entrepreneurial strife and victory, and yours is no different. It would be a challenge to stumble upon a success story that was lily-white and went exactly according to plan – that would be a book to read!
Often I reflected upon the story someone once told me during an uncertain time. They shared with me the story of how steel was made. It was explained that to get steel, raw materials are crushed, combined and put to the fire. The materials are liquefied becoming moldable and pliable; emphasizing the need for more and more heat. The hotter and more intense the fire — the stronger the steel. We think of steel in its physical form and strength, and don’t focus on what it took to become that strong. It was a great visual to keep in mind and often, this exact thought gets me through the most trying days.
Early on I fell many times in initial business ventures, and I questioned the resolve to get back up; yet here I am and much better for it. Honestly, I wouldn’t change one moment of the journey that has brought me to this exact moment. Because the most important thing you’ll realize is that slightest change and you might not be the person you are or at the place you are today. At the risk of sounding totally cliché just remember, “you’ve come a long way baby” and it’s a good thing. Pages are filled with ideas or experiments that at first seemed or felt like failures, however, all it turned out to be was truly brilliance in disguise. Keep these things in mind as you move forward – never missing a day to make at least one positive step in the direction of your dreams – you’re one day closer!
A great lesson recently learned for me was working smarter, rather than harder. For years, I know I’ve worked hard. Smarter? Not necessarily, because I was so focused on the road ahead that I didn’t see the obvious right in front of me. The obvious was that being smarter would have still gotten me to the road ahead that I had envisioned, except a whole lot sooner. That realization definitely came with its fair share of eating crow.
It’s about the here and now though, and about forgiving ourselves for being human; we’re always a work in progress. I salute those who fearlessly stumble with their dreams in tow and do have the resolve to carry on. You’re an inspiration to someone out there even if you don’t know it. Someone is rooting for you, and the number of some ones doesn’t matter, just know that at least one is. Be humbly at peace with your accomplishments and smile looking back on your tumbles and falls – honor them for what they represent to you now … you have grown so much.
Elena Patrice is an entrepreneur and single mother of a 5-year-old, as well as Co-Founder and Co-Owner of WebsitesGiveBack, where good business and good will come together. WebsitesGiveBack helps small businesses (specifically the trades) by providing complete website packages with no monthly fees or contract for a flat rate. WGB also supports charitable causes by donating 20% of the cost of each of website, on behalf of their customers, to a charity of their customer’s choice. We operate on the principal of the 3 Cs: Company-Customer-Cause. Family owned and operated.
Our mission is to serve as advocates to small business by creating high quality, affordable websites while providing a superior customer experience. Through our website service we are committed to raise $60K for various charitable organizations in 2011.
Elena is also previous company co-founder and co-owner of ee Media (pronounced “double e”) co-author of the multiple award-winning children’s book series Nana Star. Women in Toys Finalist 2009 – Nominated in two categories: Women to Watch and Entrepreneur of the Year. Connect with Elena on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and her video blog.