Struggling can be the most powerful ally to a growing entrepreneur. You can't ever escape it, and definitely can't outlive it. In fact, struggle often becomes our greatest ally. But why is this so important? Why is this one area something we experience more often than not? As we look deeper into the definitions of struggle, I hope to shed light on the joy of struggling well and the happiness it produces.
I have often been intrigued and pondered at the idea that business makers should be experiencing great pains well before we experience great success. In almost every story of the great businessmen and women of our time, the struggle was been what each of them speaks about with great humility and respect as if they were talking about a best friend. But to the majority, the struggle is just hardship and pain. A needless feeling of wanting for more. However, I believe that when the majority believe one thing, the opposite is most likely the hidden truth.
From the Merriam Webster Dictionary this is the definition of struggle:
Definition of Struggle
struggled; struggling play \-g(ə-)liŋ\
1: to make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition
struggling with the problem
2: to proceed with difficulty or with great effort
struggled through the high grass
struggling to make a living
To begin, struggling is to "make strenuous or violent efforts in the face of difficulties or opposition." This is a dense and powerful definition, but let's dig a little deeper to understand how this applies to Entrepreneurship. When we build our businesses we are looking to create something out of nothing to affect our world on a positive level. We start off with a lot of adrenaline and positive emotion. But when we hit the strenuous reality that the work we do is hard and can't be accomplished in the time frame we thought, we begin the struggling process.
Secondly, this is what is meant by strenuous and violent efforts in the face of adversity. We aren't attacking others to "buy" what we offer, or even "refer" their friends to us. But we definitely attack ourselves. We attack our thoughts, our pride, we say things like, "How could I be so stupid to think this would work?" or "No one would want to buy this from me, so why to try?" These are only examples, but we have all wrestled with thoughts such as these in our professional careers.
Let's take a look at that second definition, "To proceed with difficulty or with great effort." This is the 'how' behind why we struggle. We are proceeding forward against all odds to achieve our success through great effort. Entrepreneurs are leaders who establish themselves through their big ideas to mold something out of nothing. They have struggled against all odds to make their dreams come true. Even though this paints a picture that is SO large it scares small minds, it helps show others that this is a way of life that others can achieve with imagination, perseverance, mentorship, and self-development.
There are so many books about building businesses and being principled. There are even more on the struggles of being penniless and without the means to move forward. In almost every case, these individuals came out on top and rocked our world. But this doesn't mean that entrepreneurship values are based on going through the most intensive experience to result in coming out on top. This shows us how important it is as Ray Dalio points out to, "Struggle Well."
The joy we find in our struggle is not about moving our businesses forward. Rather, our struggle hardens us. And this is what this phenomenon grants us. We are able to better our society because of our struggles. We are able to bring light to others by using our pains as teaching moments to help guide others through their darkness by showing them what we experienced. Our sincerity and our willingness to help others are what produces Joy from our Struggling.