A search for perspective?

I know a lot of us who love business spend time reading the biographies of successful people and case studies of successful organizations. One of the things I’ve noticed is that many times, when successful people reflect on the most happy times or most memorable points in their journeys, they talk about the early days of their business, even if those days produced a lot of struggles.

Here’s an example from a good book about Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page:

It has been a dramatic journey from when Page and Brin celebrated milestones by going to Burger King for hamburgers and when they played roller hockey in the parking lot with employees. Those were the good-old-days. Google has moved on to the good new days and to a time when it has enormous responsibility to the public, to employees, and to shareholders.” – Janet Lowe, Google Speaks: Secrets of the World’s Greatest Billionaire Entrepreneurs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, pg. 247 

I had the opportunity to have lunch a while back with an entrepreneur who is about to celebrate his first year in business. He leapt onto the entrepreneurial path just out of college.  He had worked the night before until 6 am and had grabbed about 4 hours worth of sleep before we met for lunch. He was bleary-eyed, but he was also kind of proud of himself for staying on task to help find a solution to a difficult problem within the deadline requested by his client. I had to laugh out loud because I remember those days very well in my own business. When you’re at that stage you do pretty much whatever you have to do to please the client and wow them enough that they’ll hire you back and refer you to others. It’s about the simplest but hardest marketing strategy there is. And because it’s YOUR business and you’re serving YOUR clients, it can result in a sense of satisfaction that’s hard to describe.

So if you find yourself up against tough odds and you’re burning both ends of the candle, just consider that these could become the days you’ll reflect upon with great pride in the future. With that in mind, why not go ahead and celebrate these “good-old-days” while they’re happening?

When I hear people sigh and say, ‘Life is hard,’ I’m tempted to ask them, ‘Compared to what?'” – Sydney J. Harris