Take the hit. S*ut up. Move On.
Entrepreneurship is not only about hard work. It’s also about hard days.
I recently wrote about the fact that I decided to be a fish (read it, I promise I am not crazy). Long story short : a fish is an entrepreneur that is ready to pivot as many times as he can in order to find his market.
But today is not about pivot. Today is about staying on course.
I read a lot of “10 things to …” that are supposed to teach us entrepreneurs what it takes to succeed, and achieve that game-changer statuts that most of us are looking for. Me, when asked the unavoidable question about the qualities one should develop before starting a project, I usually just talk about the roughness of it all.
You’re going to take hits. Lots of them. They will come at you from everywhere. A fair share of them will come from unexpected places, ones you had taken for granted. Those will hurt the most. And when you feel the pain, this will be your ultimate challenge : if you are an entrepreneur, you will take the hit, s*ut up and move on. If you’re not, you will drown in the pain.
Sound a little like “Game of Thrones”, right ? Well, think about it. What road could be paved with an amount of metaphorical deaths similar to the story of the amazing George R.R. Martin ?
Talking is drowning
You can easily spot the entrepreneur drowning in pain : he talks about it all the time.
To this day, I still talk on a weekly basis about that call I had during the last weeks of my first startup. Basically, I had created a great new way for nonprofits to raise money, without any risk or cost, and with full control on their part. And one of the major French nonprofits turned me down, saying “Sir, we only deal with bigger companies. Call us back when you have achieved some growth.”
I had taken them for granted. Thought that raising money for them at no cost would earn me some gratitude, not rejection. The chances for my startup to succeed died that day. Because I was knocked out.
That’s why I wrote “s*ut up”. Because talking is equal to hurting yourself again.
The recent story
Why I am writing about that in my “learning curve” ? Because I recently caught myself talking too much about one of our current prospects that didn’t understand what we offered and rejected us.
We were rejected, not because our product is not good for him, but because he didn’t understand it. And during the last weeks, this hit me so hard, that I talked about it pretty much everyday.
And only today did I understand the meaning of our recent problems : I was not leading in the commercial field any more, because I was hurt. And this helped me hide the truth : my prospect didn’t understand our product because I was bad at explaining it.
So as I write, I’m officially taking the hit, moving on, and now I will shut up about this. Tomorrow I will train, train, and train again. And I will get better at communicating our vision for content creators on the web !