I picked up a 4 pack of Pick Four this week. It’s Seth Godin’s update of Zig Ziglar’s approach to goal setting.
I like progress. Unfortunately for me, and perhaps fortunately as well, my mood is greatly affected by the progress I am making in life.
This excerpt for the introduction of Pick Four hit me.
In the eight previous years, I had started my own small business, been part of a rocket-ship ride of a business in college (we finished up with over forty divisions, gone to business school, and then joined a software start up. I was used to going fast, doing a lot, and succeeding. I got married, moved to New York, and started my own company (all in the same week).
Suddenly, I was on my own and I was failing. There were too many choices, there was not enough time, and there were definitely not enough resources. I was rejected constantly (in the first year I got nine hundred rejections), and a total lack of cashflow was really taking a toll.
I wasn’t just being rejected, I was rudderless. Every project seemed like a shiny new toy, a new opportunity to make something work. I was so busy lurching from one project to another that I never had time to do the work necessary to make my ventures succeed. The lurching was a natural response: when things get tough, go do something else.
I read this and immediately felt like he could be talking about the first year of my start up. I tell people all of the time, starting a company from nothing is the hardest thing I have ever done. It has also been the most rewarding.
Some days progress is abundant while other days it feels like we are running into walls.
I am encouraged by what Seth has to say. It’s comforting to know that a man I look up to in the business and marketing world struggled with the same things I struggle with.
I consider myself blessed that our team found a way to get profitable within the first year. I am thankful when I look at what we are accomplishing, the internal energy we have, and lives we are impacting.
Still I know we have work to do before we really dig into what makes our company stand out in the market. We have big decisions to make about where we need to put our focus. Most of all we have to commit to not be distracted by the shiny new projects and opportunities along the way.