I love entrepreneurs. The truth is they are crazy, just like I am. The blessing of my business is that I get to be around them all the time. With FSMC, our training company, we help entrepreneurs learn the marketing consulting business. Over the years I’ve met some amazingly passionate guys who love entrepreneurship and have a vision for a virtual business. As a marketing consultant, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with some amazing self starters, who just needed a little boost with their marketing. If you’re thinking about entrepreneurship, then today’s post might shock you. I’ll be sharing the truth about some of the nightmares that go into starting a business. Think entrepreneurship is all fun and games? Think again!
It was ONE of “Those” Days
Because we offer some live online training from our office, it is important that our internet connection be up 100% of the time. After doing some research last fall, I learned about dual WAN routers from a company called Peplink. Basically, you can add cable internet, DSL, and Cellular 4g cards to your router and set failover rules to guarantee an internet connection. Recently, we upgraded our office to one of these systems and I fell in love with the idea of an unbreakable internet connection.
Some days I love my business. Other days, I hate it. Last Friday would turn out to be one of THOSE days! It started out with smiles and fun. My girls were off of school and we started the morning by going out for breakfast. Sarah and I had a great talk and the girls were all smiles. I typically take off on Friday, but I wanted to do some fine tuning on my router and learn more about how it worked. I arrived at my office at 11:00 am, with a plan of doing some final tweaks and testing on our new unbreakable internet connection. I told my wife that I’d be home around 5ish for pizza and our routine family Friday night. Keep in mind, I’m not a networking expert. I’ve never taken a class on networking or computers. All of my training is from Google and through trial and error. The first couple hours went great and I figured I would be done early. Then it happened. I have no idea what I clicked, but the router froze and would not let me log back in. A quick reboot and nothing. Oh no, a factory reset was needed. Upon doing the factory reset, which I later realized wasn’t needed, I accidentally reset our networking switch as well. By five o’clock, I had no internet and my router and switch were reset back to their factory settings. It was like everything just came out of the box. I had broken it. When I started that day, everything was working and as it came time for me to leave, nothing worked!
What I’d Like to Tell You
I’d like to tell you that I didn’t stress out. I’d like to tell you that I called a company and five smart IT professionals floated in and fixed everything. I’d like to tell you that I sat on my couch with my family eating pizza. The problem is that would be a huge lie. When I killed the router, I also killed any hope of leaving early. You see, on Monday I had a new client call scheduled at 10:00 am. Did I mention that we use VOIP phones? That means if we have no internet, we have no phone lines. Over the next five hours of muttering, praying, and stomping around, I finally got everything back online. It was now 10:00 pm and my kids were already in bed. I had been working for 11 hours straight, without even stopping for lunch. What made matters worse was that I had just spent 11 hours of my life without anything to show for it. The router was in the same exact state as when I arrived.
What Entrepreneurs Won’t Tell You
What I love about entrepreneurs is that they are calculated risk takers. They bet on themselves throughout their lives. When a bet pays off, they buy expensive sports cars and take dream vacations. They pull into a hotel and drop off their amazing car. The valet, a twenty year old drooling kid says, “Sweet ride man.” The dialog continues for 30 seconds about the car and what the sports car owner does for a living. It comes out that he owns a business. The naive valet jumps in the car thinking the entrepreneur is one “lucky” guy.
News Flash! Entrepreneurs are NOT lucky people. They are daring people. Behind their success is an afraid human being. The difference is that they’ve faced down their fear and decided to try anyway. What they won’t tell you is that they’ve spent countless hours stressing about finances and have worked back-to-back overnighters to meet deadlines. They won’t tell you about the lean times when they’ve gone without paychecks to keep their staff. They forget to mention that the journey caused them to sacrifice some hobbies, hanging out with the boys, and even family time during a crisis to protect their business. And no, they won’t tell you about the time that they broke the internet either.
When I see a successful entrepreneur, I know he’s got calluses and has sacrificed. When I look in his or her eyes, we both know that that their success took work. We both know that it wasn’t easy and 50% of the time they thought they would fail and 50% of the time they thought they might win. We both know that even though we’re acting composed, deep down we’re sweating bullets. So what’s the secret then? Endurance! While I totally broke my network last Friday, something good came of it. I endured a crappy day! The more you endure, the better you get.