There are no shortcuts.
Perhaps the most recurring question I ever asked myself during the 9 years we have been in business is “how do I know whether I should keep going?”
It may sound flake-ish but the truth is the hardest thing about entrepreneurship is that you will meet very few people that can advice from the experience of having gone down a similar path. Those anxious moments are real and as a leader you question your intuition. I’ve always thought I had plenty of that and then when the moment comes you are unable to see a clear path. You hope for a higher force to shine a light on you while you peacefully sit in the bathroom in the morning.
Today, looking back at all those moments I know there is no right or wrong answer to that question, it’s perfectly honorable to end a journey and it is equally as perfect to keep walking. Lately, we have said goodbye to several brands that started with us. Brands that felt like family, like an older sibling. Someone you adore and who’s steps you follow closely to make sure you are doing fine. Starting a brand from scratch is a very long process and there are no shortcuts. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Do yourself a favor and acknowledge this. We have all been in those two-three first years of business thinking; “no… we are different, our product is unique, we can fly higher and faster than anyone.” There is a huge known stereotype about new companies and babies and the thing about stereotypes is that they always hide some truth.
There is an organic process that will likely not be accelerated. You need to fall and bump you head, many times. Trying to accelerate things can make you run out of resources but also put in question the authenticity of the brand and that can never be faked. It feels like a cycle is coming to an end and their goodbyes have never felt so liberating. Like any sibling would, they’ve once again thought as a lesson; not to be scared to close a chapter and open a new one, since no journey is eternal. And leading without that fear has been a very big win for me, I can feel my cortisol levels have gone down. I don’t need to be alert all the time anymore.
Last year was a key year for us. We decided to keep walking and the only thing that really matters is that we did it for all the right reasons. Since that decision was taken many things have aligned for us in what feels like magic. Far from that, it is the perfect storm, one that never happens if many factors don’t align together.
I no longer wait in the bathroom for someone to enlighten me, I feel that light inside.