"I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance." -Steve Jobs
This quote resonated with me as we've had some locations fall through over the past couple of months. It can be very easy to get down on yourself and feel like your string of bad luck or poor results is a reason to get frustrated or quit.
I'm constantly putting routines in place to make sure that I'm avoiding this negative and unhelpful mental talk. These routines include mindfulness meditation, exercise, family time, writing, and sharing ideas and struggles with family, friends, and business partners.
These activities help me stay focused on why we started on this journey in the first place and how many lives we can positively impact once we've proven the concept. I'm positive that someone is going to be successful with this concept, so why not us?! (Russell Westbrook).
With these daily routines and a support system in place, it is much easier to focus every day on improving and learning while avoiding the pitfalls of constant negative mental talk.
This topic also reminded me of the Buddhist terms Sloth and Torpor.
Sloth and torpor are forces in the mind that drain vitality and limit effort. Sloth manifests as a physical absence of vitality. The body may feel heavy, lethargic, weary, or weak. Torpor is a mental lack of energy. The mind may be dull, cloudy, or weary. It easily drifts in thought. Being caught in sloth or torpor can resemble slogging through deep mud. When this hindrance is strong, there is not even enough mindfulness to know we've fallen in.
I try to think about these terms often as they can positively or negatively impact so many aspects of life. From waking up and wanting to hit the snooze button to feeling like giving up on a long mountain bike ride with 6.5K feet of climbing. There are constantly activities and thoughts throughout your day that give you an easy out. It is essential to dig deep, stay the course, and realize that you always have another gear. The key for me has been practicing mindfulness meditation to build up my concentration, clarity, and equanimity skills to have the necessary awareness for any situation. These skills allow me to realize that any negative thoughts are not me and do not control me and open up the ability to focus on reality and what I've set out to create.
Of course, it is a lot easier to persevere when you are working on something that you are passionate about. We are incredibly fortunate to work on a business that we are passionate about, and it is for these reasons that we are so excited to create more entrepreneurs who can also combine work and passion.
One more thought... having a backup plan is essential in being able to persevere. It is all too common that a deal seems like a sure thing only to have it fall through at the last moment. Backup plans give us options to carry forward our goals instead of going through a full re-group and losing time or quitting. I need to do a better job setting up backup plan locations in each of our desired communities.