Starting a business requires trade offs — particularly in the early stage of business development.
There’s a give-and-take between that which is comfortable and that which is awkward, annoying, and downright tortuous to put into action. Like a tug of war, it’s the unspoken agreement we make with business startup success.
These concessions, although not always pleasant to the palate, create a strong core for your business.
You Can’t Always Choose Comfort
The desire to avoid discomfort is one of the biggest challenge amidst the small business startup. It’s particularly apparent among the millennial generation.
This is not to knock this particular generation. However, it’s been my experience that boomer business launchers appear more willing to do what it takes. They choose to do things they don’t like — temporarily. It’s part of what business success requires.
I don’t want this to come across as though I’m generation bashing. (Is there an echo in here?) One size doesn’t fit all — every member of a particular generation doesn’t fit the stereotype.
What I am saying is different generations adopt different work styles and attitudes. In fact, differences between the millennial and “older” business owners are well documented. (Hey, who are you calling “old?”)
The biggest difference, in my humble opinion, is “time in the saddle.” We (i.e., “older” business owners) were once young, dumb, and wet behind the ears. Thank goodness wisdom comes with experience for most — but not all — of us.
Of course, some would say with business longevity comes rigid thinking, limited creativity, resistance to change, and defunct innovation. Imagine “this is how we’ve always done things” bellowing from the dingy office of the older business owner.
And they would be right…
For instance, 68% of millennial small business owners rely on social media for brand promotion compared to 14% of older business owners. (Get with the program, Grandpa! Facebook, albeit a slacker, is here to stay.)
Some millennial business owners make respectable choices that could/would have served the boomer well — like intentionally carving out quality time with family.
The challenge arises when one, regardless of generation, choose something other than the hustle — particularly in the early days of business.
Do The Hustle
Hustle is not…
- working 24 hours per day
- missing your kid’s little league games
- responding to customers requests at the dinner table
- working through sick days and vacations
- …fill in the blank with your belief about hustle
- doing what success requires
- taking calculated risks
- coming out of the closet to your strengths and passion
- not surrendering to your fears
- adapting gracefully and graciously to changing trends
- willingness to briefly be uncomfortable
Hustle is attending networking events — even when you think they’re lame — if that’s how you expand your network.
Hustle is sending emails to potential clients — even when you’re convinced they’ll say no — if that’s how to inform your audience.
Hustle is experiencing the discomfort — even when it’s a hassle — if that’s what is required to succeed.
And when you’ve been in business for a while and have done the hustle to succeed — to build your reputation, to create awareness, to reach out to others, to hone your expertise in your skills and rework your services time and time again — then, and only then, are you empowered to be selective.
Until then, put your big girl/boy panties on and let’s hustle.