Lately I have been really enjoying watching my daughter learn to walk. Just the other day she took her first few steps, and I just happened to be there to witness it (to my knowledge she hasn’t taken any others). She randomly stood up with a plastic necklace hanging out of her mouth and proceeded to take three tiny steps before plopping back down on the floor. Since then I have seen her attempting to take steps, but one step is about as far as she gets.
She also likes walking with a toy of hers that sort of reminds me of a walker for an elderly person, except hers has toys on the front of it. With the walker she glides around the apartment with ease and strolls down the sidewalk without a care, until a leaf, or sidewalk art distracts her.
Running, for little Abigail, is completely out of the question right now, but as she gets older and sees her dad run, I’m sure she will want to give it a try as well. But for now, she is still learning the necessary skills that will allow her to run one day, and once she does, she will be flying!
Running a new business is a lot like this. In the early stages of the business you are just starting to learn to walk. You learn the basics of what it takes to be successful, you learn to perfect your trade, you learn how to hire (and fire), you learn what does and doesn’t work, etc. You take everything one tiny step at a time until you are finally in full stride… propelling the business forward onto success.
For me, it has taken over two years to feel like I am finally walking. Even though we were constantly growing during those two years, it wasn’t until the two year mark I got my walking legs, end even now, 2.5 years latter I am still getting the hang of things. Running is still out of the question, yet I feel like it’s not far way.
Once the run begins, then things can get really interesting. Your feet begin to gain traction and propel you forwarded at paces faster than you could get while walking. So many times I wanted to be running. I would look up and see similar competitors miles ahead of us on the course, yet we still hadn’t made it to the starting blocks. Thankfully though, business is more like an ultramarathon than a sprint! Runners that go out too fast will usually get passed later in the course by those that took a slow and steady approach.
There is no harm in walking on the course of business either. In fact it’s a good thing. We have actually turned away A LOT of potential business since we have started, all because we are pacing ourselves for the race, and weren’t ready to run. So, enjoy the walk, it’s a part of the learning experience that will help you be successful. Start running to early and you will burn out fast and have to drop out of the race.