by Leah Bell
After an exhausting day of chasing my recent crawler around the house, I said to my husband, “He never gives up.” He looked at me with a smirk and replied, “Where do you think he got that from?”
Entrepreneurship is hard. It’s one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Not only is it difficult to come up with a product or service, then market it correctly, and finally make a profit in the end, but it’s difficult to believe in yourself that you can actually make it.
When the doubts roll in, a person will either become overwhelmed and turn away, or she will march on. Like a baby, she will learn, fall down, get back up, cry, and get stronger. As I watch my ten-month old do these very things in life, I see the situations mimic my life as an entrepreneur.
• Learning New Things
As we get older, the idea of learning new things becomes terrifying. What if I’m not smart enough? What if I can’t do it?
A baby has very little muscle. He has to work every day to lift his head. Then after weeks of hard work he may be able to roll over. Then he can eventually crawl, stand, and walk. After a year or so of babbling, he begins to associate words with meanings.
This is no easy task. But babies don’t have self-doubt. If they did, none of us would ever walk. They aren’t afraid to try new things. In fact, they thrive on it. It’s not until we get older that we lose our sense of adventure and gain a sense of fear.
We live in a time of no excuses. If we want to learn something, we ask Google. No one else in the history of the world was able to have information at their fingertips the way that we do. There is no excuse for not learning.
• Falling Down
A baby would never learn to walk if he never took the chance with a step. But with a step comes the eventual fall. It’s not pleasant and it’s a bit scary. He may even hit his big, disproportionate head on the coffee table. But he gets back up.
Every single entrepreneur falls down. Every single one will fail. It is the ones who get back up who will reach success. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Dare to fall.
Life is overwhelming for babies. And life is overwhelming for entrepreneurs. If you need to cry, cry. I do. Then once I get it all out, I get up and get going. Sometimes it feels like the tears cleaned out my brain of all the negativity and doubt and then I’m ready to start fresh. Don’t be afraid to cry.
When my husband implied that my son’s stubbornness came from me, I was proud. Babies have big things to accomplish, and a few difficulties won’t get in their way. I have big things to accomplish, too. But if I’m not willing to fall, I’ll never learn to run.
Leah Bell learned the most about life, not in the classrooms of the colleges she attended, but in the years following. After realizing the struggle in the job market, the difficulty of paying off student loans, and the heartbreak of sacrificing priceless time with family to meet financial needs, she and her husband have devoted their lives to sparing people of this depressing fate through their company Neotrep™, providing entrepreneurs with affordable education and tools to succeed. She recently wrote the book The Angry Grad to help prospective students and recent graduates choose the route of entrepreneurship instead of the unstable job world.