Last summer, I dropped my lawnmower in for a service. We were having a very dry summer and when I asked the owner if it was affecting his business, I could see the color drain from his face.
It had not rained all summer and not only were people like me not coming in to get their mowers serviced and to buy new equipment, but all of the local mowing companies, who need regular servicing of their equipment, were not coming in either.
With a big retail store and workshop, plus staff, his business relied on a constant flow of people through the door. Come to think of it, that sounds like most businesses.
Fast forward twelve months and we had had a wet summer. I booked my mower in for another service and was told it would take ten days before it would be ready. This time around, he was inundated with equipment needing to be fixed and he could not keep up with the demand for his services.
In business, you need a lot of courage to be able to ride out the tough weeks and months…and sometimes years. There is absolutely no guarantee of where your next dollar is coming from, and so you need to have a very strong stomach to ride the tough times out. Being an entrepreneur sounds glamorous, but it is no easy gig.
Courage is an often forgotten ingredient in success, and not just in business. A friend of mine worked in recruitment for a high level rugby team. Part of his role involved going to junior carnivals to search for new talent. He was telling me that he was not just looking for good players, but for those who are tough; those who can get back up when they are hurt and are able to play with pain.
Business is similar. The pressure you have to live under at times can be intense. When the bills come in and there is not enough money to pay them, unless you have rich relatives, then the buck stops with you.
Yes, you need a good product or service, but you also need to have great courage. But take comfort in the fact that God even told Joshua to have couragein Joshua 1:7:
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”(NIV)
God knew we would face challenges in life, but he commands us to be strong. In life, there are no short cuts and for anyone in business, you will face challenges.
Just remember to be brave. Be bold, be strong and know that a big part of success is having a very strong stomach.
Matt Danswan is the CEO of Initiate Media, publishers of Entrepreneur Daily. He is also the author of NOT Business As Usual.