06 July 2011

Lesson #4: The Challenge of Perseverance. Are you In?

No doubt you've heard it before that perseverance is the key to success in entrepreneurship. History is full of examples of entrepreneurs who have accomplished great things because they were able to persevere in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

An outsider may not thinking that having to persevere someone who constantly perseveres would be a challenge, but if you are married to an Entrepreneur then you understand that statement completely.

There came a point in my marriage that I realized that this love of Entrepreneurship (aka starting businesses, developing ideas and creating companies) wasn't just a fad, or a phase, and that it wasn't going away anytime soon. This wasn't an easy thing to realize. Sure, I believed in my Entrepreneur and in his ability to create something great,  but I hadn't bargained for the endless stress of an entrepreneurial life and I wasn't sure I wanted to be a willing volunteer...which left me with a decision to face: Was I in or was I out?

At some point, every Entrepreneur's spouse will have to face this decision; in fact, you may have to face this question on more than one occasion.

Are you in?

Are you in if it takes 8 years for the business to become profitable?
Are you in when friends or family doubt your vision?
Are you in if it means not being able to meet obligations or putting your credit, your home or your way of living on the line?
Are you in if you have to close the doors and start all over?

For years I was hopeful I could commit to this challenge, but wasn't completely confident. It has taken a few successes, and few failures as well, to help me decide and here is where I stand today...

I'm in because I am married and, for better or for worse, I have made a commitment to that and to my Entrepreneur.

I'm in because I have children to raise and they deserve parents who are willing to have enough courage to climb out of bed every day and work towards something that has value.

I'm in because it is this very passion and courage that make people great and companies successful.

I'm in because I fell in love with an Entrepreneur and I'd rather be by his side with nothing than have everything and be without him...at least most days :)

Perseverance is about commitment, hard work, patience and endurance. To persevere is to commit to anything undertaken; maintain your purpose in spite of challenges, difficulty, or discouragement and to continue steadfastly. 

Whether this is regarding Marriage or Entrepreneurship, perseverance is Being In.