I’m an entrepreneur…
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 25 years.
I’ve built many businesses, some did massively well and some failed horribly.
But one thing I’ve learned in business, for sure, is you’re gonna have to deal with struggle!
You’re gonna have to deal with challenges.
You’re gonna have to deal with things unforeseen.
I’ve had my share of it after a while struggle starts to wear on you, it starts trying to beat you down.
It’s something you have to deal with especially if you’re trying to accomplish anything great.
Anytime you’re going for something great you’re going to have to struggle, you’re going to be faced with adversity.
When you strive to have a new breakthrough, you better get ready, because a struggle is on its way!
But why is that? Why do we have to struggle?
At times, why does it seem so hard?
You tend to have these thoughts of: “I’m struggling to build this business… I’m workin SO hard… Why does it seem like everything is against me? I have all these false starts… I feel like every time I turn a corner, every time I have a new chance of having a breakthrough, there’s something there resisting me, at a high-level… Why does it seem like bad things only happen to good people? Why can’t it be easier?”
Are these thought that you’ve had? I’ve had them… I’ve had them many times over the last two decades!
Sometimes you look at other people and you wonder: “Are they struggling like I am? Are these other business owners struggling like I’m having to struggle? It seems like they have more talent… it seems like it’s easier for them… that they have a better college degree or better education… or maybe their parents raised them with better habits… maybe they just don’t have the struggles I’m having… maybe they’re better looking… maybe they’re bigger, faster, stronger…”
Luckily I learned a long time ago that you don’t worry about other people.
You don’t know what kind of front they’re putting up. You don’t know what’s going on in their house at night. You don’t know what they are or are not struggling with.
Years ago, I discovered that many of my great heroes were really not who I thought they were.
Sometimes the grass appears like it’s greener on the other side because it’s growing over a leaky sewage pipe!
I’ll tell your story that really changed my life…
There was a little boy around ten years old.
He came home from school one day and went outside to play.
Back then we didn’t have video games like we have today; we didn’t have iPads, iPhones and all that fun stuff.
Kids had to go outside and play in the woods or play around the house outside.
This little boy went outside. He was playing in the woods when he ran across this little tree branch with this twig hanging off, that had a cocoon on it.
He was all excited he found this cocoon because he remembered studying in school about butterflies and cocoons.
He was really excited to find this thing … he’s ever seen one… so he broke the twig with the cocoon off of the branch and ran home with it.
He got a jar and put the cocoon in the jar. He then filled the jar with leaves and sticks so it’d be like an environment in the woods
He was all excited about it! He watched that cocoon from day to day but nothing was happening.
He kept wondering, “Man! I can’t wait until it hatches so I can have a pet butterfly!”
He was obsessed with it. He was infatuated with this idea of having a pet butterfly.
One day as he was watching the cocooning he noticed that it started to shake!
It would shake a little more and a little more. He watched it forever… It kept shaking!
And then he noticed a little slit form in the cocoon where the little butterfly was trying to get out… He’s trying to work his way out!
The little boy is all excited! He can’t wait to see it!
He watched this thing forever while it was trying to get out of that slit, and the little boy was thinking, “Well maybe he’s stuck… maybe I need to help it?”
So he took his little pocket knife and he opened the slit. He cut it a little bit more, while being real careful not to accidently cut the butterfly. He opened up the slit a pretty good bit.
He stepped back and watched the butterfly come out.
Well sure enough, the butterfly easily came out of that slit and fell to the bottom of the jar. It laid there and it died!
The little boy was heartbroken! He couldn’t understand what happened.
So he went to school the next day and told his teacher about it. He told her what all he did and what happened.
The teacher said, “Oh no… you shouldn’t have cut that open!”
The little boy said, “Why? I was trying to help him…”
She said, “I know you were trying to help it but when you did that, you robbed that butterfly of his struggle. You robbed him of his chance at life… you kinda stole that from him… that butterfly needed to go through that struggle to fight, kick around, move its wings trying to bust open that cocoon, because that struggle… that fight… was necessary for that butterfly to gain strength… he needed to get the juices to flow through his body, he needed to work his wings, he needed that struggle to be able to succeed and grow into a beautiful butterfly. And when you cut that cocoon you took away the struggle which took away the life.”
Without struggle there is no life
That story really hit me at a young age. I look at struggle different nowadays.
Struggle is something you have to go through. There is no way around it.
If you’re trying to achieve any type of greatness, any type of entrepreneurial pursuit, any type of fitness, you’re going to have struggle.
Anytime you’re trying to become a success at something or accomplish something, you’re going to have struggle, and you’re supposed to have the struggle!
Without the struggle you can’t win…
Without the struggle you will never develop the talents, the strengths, the skills you need to truly be a success in which are striving for.
You have to have that struggle.
The story of the butterfly really stuck with me…
The little boy remembered what he had learned. Several weeks later he was running through the woods again and he ran across another cocoon.
But this time he decided he’s going to do it right. He was going to put it in the jar, but this time he wasn’t going to help the butterfly.
He was going to let it do its thing… he was going to let it go through its struggle like he was told by the teacher.
He put the cocoon in the jar, again with leaves and sticks, and he watched it for days.
Sure enough, it started shaking around and he knew the butterfly was starting to struggle and was going to eventually come out.
The slit formed, and he kept watching. It took FOREVER… The butterfly fought, and fought, and fought, and it finally worked its way out of that cocoon.
It was exhausted but it had gone through the struggle it needed to go through, and after a while, that butterfly’s wings developed. They were huge… they were gorgeous!
The little boy was so amazed at the power of this life that formed out of that struggle. And he’s thinking to himself, “You know, that butterfly fought that fight to deserve its right in life to fly; and I don’t have the right to keep him cooped up. I’m letting go!”
That little boy was so moved! He decided to let it go. He didn’t want to keep that butterfly pinned up in that jar, so he went outside open the lid, and let the butterfly go.
He watched it fly off to live its life.
Very valuable lesson…
In life you’re gonna have these struggles.
I decided to keep in mind that I need to go through these struggles, to develop what I need to develop, to become who I want to become, to achieve what I want to achieve.
Without the struggle there is no life… without the struggle there is no winning… without the struggle you can’t achieve anything… you have to go through the struggle.
So, embrace the struggle!
I know it’s tough! Struggles can be tough! They can be unbearable at times!
Sometimes you feel like it’s impossible! Sometimes you see all these other people winning and doing great, and everything is going wonderful for them; but you don’t know what’s going on in their house… you don’t know!
So don’t gauge yourself against them.
Don’t monitor and compare your achievements to others because they are two different stories. You’re not like them and they’re not like you!
They may be struggling, but they may be hiding it well. So don’t worry about that. You focus on your fight! You focus on your good fight!
That’s what I had to do many times in my life. After many failures, I started looking at it and realized it wasn’t a failure until I just gave up and quit.
It’s not really a failure, it’s a struggle. Failing is not really struggling, failing is quitting, copping out, and not going through the struggle.
Going through the struggle will bring you the life you want. It will bring you what you’re needing.
I have been through many struggles in my lifetime and I plan on going through many more between now and the grave.
I now embrace struggle and I encourage you to as well.
Take action today!
Stop just existing…
Stop reading, consuming, searching, and waiting for that “great idea”.
Stop waiting for that “great feeling” to finally go do something!
There’s never a good time to win… There’s never a good time to go out and build a business… There’s never a good time to decide on getting married… there’s never a good time!
Stop waiting for life to give “it” to you…
You just have to decide and do it and face that struggle head on!
Go out there, put a smile on your face, take control of your life, and go fly!