I watched this great video from Gary Vaynerchuk a few days ago and at the end, I was all refraining myself from getting up on the table and Roger Rabbit-ting until the barista at the coffee shop pulled me down.
Because for a long time, I thought success in business had to be overnight. I was focused on starting my copywriting business (oh you didn't know I used to be a copywriter? Read on, friend), putting in a solid six to eight months worth of work, and then being so overloaded with clients and cash that I wouldn't even know how to keep up with it all.
And in the evenings, I'd count my money and take a swim in my piles of gold coins, Scrooge McDuck style.
The truth is:
I started my first business officially in March 2013.
And before that, I'd been blogging on and off since April 2009.
While Lauren Caselli Events didn't really come into life until May 2014, I've been researching digital marketing, email campaigns, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram strategy, and everything online business since 2009. And to be honest, I'm still learning boatloads of new things every day.
So how long have I been in business? Technically, I've been in business for 18 months. But my story is so much longer and more detailed than that. In those 18 months:
+I've felt like an incredible success because I booked an ideal, dream client immediately.
+Laid facedown on my bed, crying because I felt like such a fraud
+Held amazing events for female entrepreneurs
+Wanted to deliver a product but was top scared to create it (though it's still on my list to get started!)
+Made a huge amount of money in a short period of time
+Spent a huge amount of money in a short period of time
+Generally had more fun than if I were working in an office every day under someone else
+Generally wanted to quit and get a real job because being the captain of the ship is glamorous until you're tired of making decisions (basically, I feel this simultaneously with the feeling above)
The truth is (and what the above video does so well) is that it it takes a lot of hard work, a lot of research, a lot of hiring help, and a lot of spinning your wheels to figure out what it is you're doing in business.
The other truth that I wanted to mention is:
Even though you don't think it gets easier, it does. It's just that, once something gets easier for you, there's another thing that you have to figure out that's harder.
Case in point, it used to take me HOURS to create a graphic for my blog. Now, I can do it in under 10 minutes, to the point where I don't even think about it anymore. But for three years, making blog graphics was so hard for me that it was enough to make me not want to blog (I know, right?)
Being in business needs to be a long game, not a short game, and I think we're all better off if we stop believing in shortcuts and overnight successes and the quick game. And it's also why I want to be truthful about how I started (as a copywriter) and how I got to where I am today (a lot of effort, not all of it successful, but constant and unwavering). And that "hard work and patience" that Gary V talks about is something that I've started to wrap my mind around as the most reassuring path to success in business.
Keep doing good things every day and you'll get there. Hard work + patience my friend.