“It’s easy to quit. To succeed, you have to be too stubborn to quit.”
I was a company advisor at Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week or PFEW, last week and during a break I received that advice from a fellow company advisor and entrepreneur. He is more seasoned than I am, in his second business and has been a business owner for 20+ years.
We had a chance to talk about the ups and downs of being a business owner, and I got a chance to vent my frustrations in business development, being a young black business owner in a very white-dominated industry, and all the fun stuff I try to not bother me.
He said that I’m one step away from having that big break, and that I shouldn’t quit before that happens. Because, cue his quote, it’s easy to quit.
Why are all the simple pieces of advice so freakin’ profound?
It is easy to quit. I could just stop trying to help small and medium sized businesses. In these past few years, they certainly haven’t made it easy for me.
But from reading about great leaders, and taking advice from other business leaders, I’ve learned that the great ones have been just too stubborn to stop.
Theodore Roosevelt couldn’t get the nomination from the Republican Party. What did he do? He formed the Bull Moose Party and was one of the only presidents in history to win as a 3rd party.
To stay in the family, FDR had a ton of, at that time, radical ideas to get the nation on the right track. He faced obstacle after obstacle in the forms of political opposition, spousal opposition, the Supreme court and even family. But he stayed his course, and left a legacy that is regarded as one of the greatest of our time.
The owner of FedEx gave up most of his equity in his business to survive. He believed so much in his idea he was willing to basically sell it to others. I guess he did okay.
Stubbornness, with a good idea, is a good quality to have.
Now, my idea of supporting the small business community in order for them to succeed and reinvest in the community, does not match up to the New Deal, obviously.
But it can make Charlotte a better place to do business. It will make young, bright people want to stay and start something. It will help people in Charlotte want to be a part of something.
This is a pep talk. Entrepreneurs, if you wholeheartedly believe that you are good at what you’re doing, and have an idea that will improve an industry or community, don’t quit.
More people are going to say no than yes, accept it.
More people will doubt you than support you, deal with it.
More people will ignore you than listen to you, preach it.
People are afraid of change, of something new. Entrepreneurs represent exactly what the public fears, yet are the ones society needs most.
Thanks for listening.