The entrepreneur's desert journey

Since I began studying entrepreneurs who were happy to be entrepreneurs and who improved their quality of life with their businesses, I discovered that (almost) all of them had to cross the desert without a sure map of where the oasis was located.

The desert crossing is that stage of the journey (normally longer than desired) that tests the enthusiasm with which the project began. It is where the machinery of the business is being formed, but it still does not work nor is there a glimpse of the part or fuel that will make it work definitively. It is where trial and error become routine and where certainties never arrive.

Those who have ever written a business plan know that it is never fulfilled and that there is a point at which fatigue and uncertainty begin to take their toll on those who have embarked on their path to freedom with so much enthusiasm. And it is that undertaking without unforeseen events appearing is like learning to walk without ever falling, that is, it is impossible. Wanting to start a business without something going wrong is like dedicating yourself to being a soccer goalkeeper and expecting them to never score a goal, it would not be realistic. As an entrepreneur, you must give your all to avoid evils to your business, accepting that it is impossible for them not to occur (statistically speaking). However, although for many this stage has been a difficult moment, not all entrepreneurs experience it as a dark moment, because they can rely on one or more of the following pillars:

For many, the path does not require perceived effort because learning is a pleasure in itself, or because the creative and discovery process in itself provides great motivation. Chris Guillabeau, author of the book The 100$ Startup, says that we can deal with a business that we are not passionate about, or with a business that struggles to be profitable, but we cannot deal with both at the same time.

For many entrepreneurs, the difficulties that arise along the way are part of the game and without them, there would be no fun.

Many entrepreneurs have difficulties in getting their products to customers who buy from them, but they see that the market is demanding different solutions like the ones they offer and it is a matter of time to find the formula to unite demand with their offer.

Some people have the ability to overcome difficulties and emerge stronger from battles. It is perhaps the characteristic that most guarantees the success of the entrepreneurial adventure.

Many entrepreneurs value freedom as their highest value, above security. This is not universal and that is why entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but accepting new challenges in freedom is a very powerful engine that allows us to endure the hardships of the desert.

If you are going to undertake, you should know that you are going to cross the desert and that you must have some extra “water source” to be able to pass this test.