In our social media heavy world, we feel the pressure to be successful, and be successful fast. Like, really fast.
We read the blog of a branding expert who grew her business from zero to six figures in just one year, or the fitness junkie who sculpted her body in less than 6 weeks by simply following her own Instagram workouts. Oh, and they all have perfectly manicured nails and blowouts while they do it.
"How to get 1000 Instagram followers in just one week."
"How to grow your sales by 50%, fast!"
"7 ways to get discovered online, now!"
When we're bombarded by tales of overnight success on a daily basis, it's no wonder the rest of us begin to feel inadequate and give up early on. "If they did it, why can't I?"
Because they didn't do it. Or, at least, they're not telling you the whole story about how they did it. I'm not saying there aren't outlying examples and quick-fast entrepreneurial success, and if you're one of them, good on ya. But when you see a post about how a green juice company went from a garage in Silverlake to Whole Foods is six months, there's likely a far less Instagrammable story behind it.
Maybe they had a family member willing to invest, maybe their best friend was head of merchandising, or maybe they just knew some of the right people at the right time. Which, by the way, shouldn't be held against any of them. They took the opportunities given to them, as any of us would.
But most small business success is a very simple equation:
Time + Effort = Results
It takes time. Lots of it.
I started by business at the end of 2011. For the first two and a half years, I worked for a catering staffing company to pay the bills. And trust me, no Juno or Reyes filter could have made that look glamourous. Then, I started to make enough money just from photography to scrape by if I limited my weekly latte intake. And then finally, I started to make a living I could be comfortable with, and that eventually afforded me the minor luxuries such as travel and the nice dinners that I enjoy and value. It took a while, and a lot of it wasn't pretty.
So don't give up. If you have a good product and you put in the time effectively, it will pay off. Stop comparing yourself to others, and give yourself the space to grow, learn and get better without the crushing pressure of doing it all at once.
You'll be better for it, and it's so epically satisfying when you finally get to where you want to be.