This is to remind you about what you signed up for, to help you refocus your wandering mind, especially whenever you feel attacked and bullied from on all sides. It is not meant to be easy, and being successful doesn’t mean you will be left in peace. But since poverty of the mind is by its very nature a monumental and unimaginable catastrophe, you do not have any other option but to battle on.
Within the probable simple mission of creating and delivering products and services that fix societal problems, there are many obstacles lying in weight at every turn or stage, as you plough forward.
Solving customer problems doesn’t follow a linear path, and while you remain immersed and absorbed with everything you could delight your customers with, you must not forget that there are countless forces you must perpetually swim and meander through.
Always note that at any level, you will continuously battle in one of these three stages:
Stage One: your idea and product development stage. Here, people question both your intellectual capital and execution capability, the investors question why you think you are good enough to get their money. Many of your friends won’t believe in you anymore, your relatives may even question if you are still normal; nothing seems to be adding up! If you are too weak or faint-hearted, your entrepreneurial journey ends here; it remains the toughest stage, no doubt.
Stage Two: if perhaps with a combination grit, chance and fortune, you manage to scale the first huddle and go on to launch and become successful. It’s now time to attract knocks and scrutiny from regulators across various jurisdictions; some might regulate you out of existence. The incumbents will fight back, some would want to decimate or completely crush you, many will try to discredit you. Think about those successful start-ups, including those that have attained unicorn staus; this is where they belong. Many don’t go beyond here, before they are either bought off or everything collapses.
Stage Three: if you go on to become a corporation, then be ready to be putting out fire every time. This time from all manner of people, the activists are breathing down your neck, accusing or suing you of one malfeasance or another. Governments across different jurisdictions are attacking you, some are accusing you of not paying enough tax or not paying at all. Investors and shareholders are dragging you in all directions, some want more stakes, others are accusing of mismanagement of resources.
As if you haven’t been torn apart enough, then comes rebellion from your own employees. Some would demand you stay away from certain contracts, some would stage a walkout; even a mass resignation could be triggered. While some employees demand clarity on your purpose of existence, your customers might accuse of number of things, from extortion to being biased or not being forceful enough, with regard to supporting certain causes, and your suppliers and partners are equally accusing you of unfairness. You may have hundreds of lawsuits from governments, groups and individuals running concurrently, they all add up to make you a corporation!
This is your life’s story, the life an entrepreneur, the battle never ends; no ordinary day.