I had a terrible day yesterday. One of those days where nothing, absolutely nothing goes right. I woke up late, my kids were cranky, the coffee took too long to brew, I was unfocused and my workout wore me out. All before 8am.
Here’s the thing: as an entrepreneur you battle the urge to quit almost every single day. Actually, speaking for myself, I battle the urge to quit every single day, not almost every single day. Even on the great days when I’m making sales the thought of “let’s quit while we’re ahead” is always there.
Business is hard. Being an entrepreneur is even harder. Quitting would be so easy and so freeing…but then it wouldn’t.
Last night, after my latest attempt at quitting, I was reflecting about what it takes to persevere. How and why do I quit but not quit on a routine basis?
I starting thinking about my long, difficult journey to receive my PhD. In order to meet all the requirements to earn a PhD in my program, I had to do something called Candidacy Exams. This exam is a 2-3 hour oral exam where you’re placed in front of a panel of 5 professors and they hammer questions at you to make sure you are, in fact, an expert in your field. Studying for my Candidacy Exams was the most stressful thing I have ever done. And to be honest, I cannot remember how many times I quit my PhD. I would sit with my family, with my boyfriend (now husband), with my friends and I would say “I really think I need to quit. This isn’t for me. It’s making me sick. It’s not worth it”. And then I’d buck up and get going. I’d quit but then not really quit.
I received my PhD in 2007 and it was the best feeling in my entire life. Sure, marriage is great, having kids is great, but receiving my PhD? Pride. I did that. I quit then didn’t quit and I, well, I achieved. I’m ridiculously proud of that, so maybe that’s why I don’t quit, I know what it’s like to quit but not quit and finally achieve. And it’s amazing.
Hard work is…well…it’s hard. It puts you through the ringer. It makes you question what you’re made of, how much you’re willing to give out and drive forward in the hopes that it’ll all be worth it. But, something inside me keeps picking me up, placing me on my feet and pushing me forward. Is it the belief in the change I’m trying to make in this world with Hot Mama Health & Fitness? Is it that I’ve come this far so how could I quit now? Is it the simple fact that quitting has never been an option, so why would it be now, just because it’s that much harder than before? Or am I terrified of all the people I would let down?
I have no idea.
The past few months have been FILLED with hard work. I have quit every day. And yet here I am, writing in the hopes that someone else will get it. Someone else out there quits every day right along with me, only to wake up the next day and start all over again.
As I sit here writing about quitting I realize I never will. Banks can refuse to give me credit. Monthly invoices that I struggle to pay will continue to be sent. People who make more money than I (last month I didn’t earn a cent for my family) will continue to ask for discounts. People will continue to demand the impossible. I will be asked to give more, do more, push more, be more. And still, I won’t quit.
Are you with me? Do you quit every day only to breathe gratefully in the morning and hope that today, maybe today, you won’t quit?!
I quit for an hour yesterday. I thought “Forget it. I’m out”. Sorry bill collectors and invoices for $30k (you should talk with the bank), I’m off to go work in a pub where I’ll actually make some money.
I cried yesterday. I raged at the unfairness. And then I wrote my plan for today to keep working. I know what it feels like to finally achieve. Like I said, I have never felt as amazing as the day I received my PhD. Why? Because I persevered. I quit so many times I cannot count. I can’t imagine how proud I will be when I persevere through this entrepreneur life and achieve.
I guess that’s why I don’t quit. I know how good it can feel. I know how proud I can be.
I know that I will quit more on this journey than ever before knowing that the reward and fulfillment will be that much sweeter when I’m a major success. Keep going, everyone, I hope you find your reason to not quit. I hope you persevere through your biggest doubts and I hope you get to feel what it’s like to quit repeatedly only to succeed.
I leave you with “poem” that I read almost daily. I hope it can be source of strength to persevere through anything you need to get through to get you to where you want to be.