I am cruising into my 17th year in business.
Seventeen years of creating things, connecting with people, figuring out what I want to do, what people need and inviting them to pay me to help them get things done.
It has been fun.
Really, really fun.
I remember when I first started blogging and everything was just so dang exciting.
I didn’t know what I was doing, and had an ugly homegrown Typepad blog.
Every day I would meet a new, cool person who would teach me something new.
Rich Sloan from Startup Nation called me out of the blue one day to tell me he liked my writing and I think I screamed into the phone.
I didn’t have the expectation that I would get 2,000 readers in one month.
When I did my first product launch, I sold three copies at $39. I was ecstatic.
I would watch my web traffic with wonder, looking at the world map and seeing a pin in Ireland or Qatar or Ghana and think “Holy guacamole, someone from all the way over there is reading my blog!”
Of course I work hard. Some days I am on the phone for eight hours straight, coaching, doing interviews or teaching.
I have huge writing deadlines. The more I grow my business, the more there is to do.
Just this morning, my 5-year old Rosie asked me why I was not a “fun mom” like her best friend across the street. “Her mom is OFF this week on spring break. Why do you have to work?”
“Because I am writing my book, Rosie,” I said. “I work for myself. I don’t always have regular vacations like other moms. But it will be worth it! When I am done, we can take some time off and go to the beach.”
Own the path and enjoy the journey
When I see and hear all the angst from new entrepreneurs who feel pressure to get instant success, I want to sit them down, give them a glass of cold lemonade and invite them to chill out and enjoy the journey.
It is a massively imprudent business plan to expect instant success. And it makes you cranky.
If you only focus on big huge wins, then you miss the daily miracles of the work itself. Like former clients who come from behind and fund their Kickstarter projects with moments to spare. Or clients who work diligently to make a plan to leave their job and start a successful consulting practice. Or even blog posts that make us feel proud to have written them.
Life is complex. Building a business is challenging.
Don’t forget to enjoy it.