Pain Before the Prize

January 10th, 2012 by Rich Christiansen

In the conclusion of Bootstrap Business, I told a story of a young man named Jonathon. I was deeply touched with his story because he had the support of his wife and was willing to make the sacrifice to become an entrepreneur.

This past week, I was delighted when Jonathon called and asked to come visit me. There’s no way I’m going to turn down a visit from Jonathon because he’s taken the enduring path of entrepreneurship. In deed the last three or four years have been difficult for this man.

I talk about how in the early days; my wife and I lived on potatoes and love. Jonathon had been in that phase too, where his wife had to cut out makeup and their family had reduced the budget dramatically in order to keep the entrepreneurial dream alive.

I was so delighted as I looked at a very weary, very battle haggard, very tired Jonathon. It was very evident as he walked into my office that he had arrived at the first phase of Profitability and was well on the path of a successful venture. He knew it, and I knew it!

Jonathon has turned the corner and is now in the Process Phase where he is developing processes and adding resources. He just wanted a few clarifying pointers.

During our meeting he had made the comment to me, “Rich, I didn’t have any idea that it was this hard.” Then we shared one of those moments that I call an “earning your stripes moments”.

I want to say boldly that it is hard, but that anything in life that is worth having is hard. I still stick to the statement that I know of no better way to control your emotional, your personal, and your financial life and control your destiny, than by becoming an entrepreneur.

Of course I will tell you that figuring out what it takes and figuring out those first few models is hard—even if you have and The Zig Zag Principle or even if you’ve read Bootstrap Business. It takes going into the unknown and it will make you weary, but it is worth it.

And it does become easier.

Well, maybe not easier—but you do acclimate to it, and you will learn to get through the sequences more quickly.

I’m proud of you Jonathon, and I Look forward to seeing incredible thing from you in the future. You’ve earned your stripes.

Now, the rest of you…get with it! Go start something you’re passion about. Maybe even have a couple grand-little failures. Just make sure you follow my advice and fail efficiently. And as you work toward your goal, I’d love to hear about it.

Congratulations Jonathon!

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