February 10, 2016
It’s, obviously, February which means that here in Seattle we have very short days and most of those days end up rainy and grey. So perhaps it was the winter doldrums that were getting to me a bit as I talked with a business mentor about some projects I have lined up for the next 12-24 months. I was less than optimistic about the projects’ timelines, budgets, and probability for success even though these were projects I’d excitedly talked about just two months before during an end of the year review with this exact same mentor.
As mentors have a way of doing, he quietly listened to everything I had to say and then wisely responded with “This will be successful. But it’s going to take longer than you anticipate.”
I’ve been mulling this over for the past few days. Part of being an entrepreneur is having a deep well of perseverance that will see you through the hard times, the times when you doubt yourself, and the times when most others say you can’t or shouldn’t do it. I’ve seen great products and great concepts fail or close up shop because they simply didn’t have the perseverance to overcome the challenges that are inherent in being a food entrepreneur. And sometimes that’s because we overestimate, in our excitement about the business idea or the new product, how long it will take to gain traction in the marketplace. Even though we know we shouldn’t, we simply assume that if we build something great everyone else will see and be drawn to its greatness.
Unfortunately, that rarely happens. You need to build in some wiggle-room, to both your financial projections and your self-confidence factor, that this may very well take longer to gain legs than you originally think. That way when you need it, you can go to the well and draw up a big bucket of perseverance to help see you through.