Every so often I sit down with an entrepreneur who’s going through some very difficult times. The funding they thought they had secured fell through. Their cofounder left after a nasty fight. The product, which they have been working on seemingly forever, completely bombed in the market.
In the late 90’s I had to shatter my first startup. I had to tell my investors that we couldn’t make it work. I had to fire a dozen people who worked their backsides off for the company. I had to tell my friends and family, who supported me throughout the whole ride, that I failed.
None of that is easy. Far from it. It pushed me into a depression and it took a three month backpacking trip to Central America to get me out of it. But life goes on. It always does. And in some miraculous, wonderful way the ship always seems to righten itself in the end.
The work we’re doing is too important to give up.
What I found, over the years, to be one of the most important factors in persevering through hard times and building up resilience is your personal support network. You need people you can talk to about this stuff. People who understand you, who have walked or are walking in your shoes. Who don’t judge you and are there for you when you need them. Who create a safe space and allow you to be vulnerable.
Why not give them a call this weekend?
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” ~ Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms