Being a new business owner can be daunting, challenging and even painful at points. We've all heard the alarming statistic that 90 percent of all new businesses fail within the first year. Of course there is a plethora of reasons that this happens: trying to sell a product or service that is not in demand, poor marketing, a lack of a clear business plan and/or strategy, underestimating costs of operation and the list could go on and on for days. But what about the least talked about reason that a business fails within the first year, but is arguably the most important of them all? The lack of perseverance.
I've been an entrepreneur in some capacity since 2004 and a consultant to business owners since 2010. There is a common thread to the businesses that I've seen fail during its first year, and it's simply quitting before seeing success. Weariness, discouragement and hopelessness set in and thwart all chances of seeing a business grow into the ideal of success that was first envisioned at startup. Like a puff of smoke, those dreams of the autonomy of being the boss, steady income and financial freedom vanish when twelve- to fourteen-hour work days month after month yield less than anticipated results.
Just as with all of the facets of life, there is a process of growth that every business owner must embrace or doom is inevitable. Let's take the lesson of the tree for example. It spends years underground growing deep roots which is its foundation for sustainability to endure seasons of barrenness and seasons of plenty. During the root growth phase, lots of time and nurturing take place, yet you can't even see the roots because they are underground and not visible.
Then after a good amount of time and nurturing has passed, the trunk forms and gets stronger, and eventually gives way to the branches. After all this time there's still no fruit, yet you can visibility see that the tree is well beyond the root stage and growth is taking place. Branches then sprout leaves and before you know it, you can see fruit starting to bud, ultimately yielding mature fruit. As painfully long as the process of growth can be in your business, you must embrace it. Roots were never intended to produce fruit, and neither were the branches. Yet, somehow new business owners expect to see fruit way too soon and end up cutting the process short buy simply giving up.
Revise your plan, come up with a new marketing strategy, hire a business coach, but DON'T GIVE UP! Every dream comes with a cost. Count up the costs in the beginning so that your dream doesn't become a nightmare. Become fully persuaded that you can reap the benefits of a successful, thriving and fruitful business if you don't faint. Trust the process. Expect to work smart but diligently. Put in the time, financial investment, commitment and whatever else that's required to nurture those roots, trunk, branches and leaves and before long you will taste the sweet rewards of the harvest. Quitting only means that you will start the cycle all over again with something else, so don't let your investment go to waste. Embrace the process of growth and success will follow.
Dynamite in a small package, fearless and inspiring are just a few words to describe Tamiko Cuellar, the CEO and Founder of Pursue Your Purpose. She has been invited to speak at Microsoft, First Bank, The City of St. Louis, conferences, churches and radio programs. She was featured in the St. Louis Business Journal, STL TV and on the cover of the UK based Small Business Owner Magazine, and is a best-selling author.
Pursue Your Purpose is based in St. Louis, Missouri and provides small business owners and entrepreneurs globally with strategies for getting "unstuck", identifies untapped profit opportunities, all combined with a dose of inspiration. To contact Tamiko for speaking, coaching, interviews or other opportunities email info@PursueYourPurpose.com or learn more at www.PursueYourPurpose.com.