Lets face it, it’s easy to get discouraged. There will always be ups and downs in your business and sometimes the easiest thing to do is quit. I’ve been there many times in my life and the temptation to give up when times get hard never goes away. Sometimes the issues are your fault and sometimes unforeseen circumstances can really mess with you. Recently I came down with Bell’s Palsy, it can be quite debilitating for many reasons. Half my face is paralyzed so I look funny, my right eye won’t close so it’s always dry and always hurts and since half my mouth won’t move, I slur my words and sound drunk. But since I’m a small business owner I can’t just tuck away in bed and hide, I still have to show up, talk to people and deal with my severe limitations. On top of that sales hasn’t been where I need it, I have a young kid who’s acting like a young teenager and driving everyone nuts, and everyone and their grandma seems to need something from me. In a nutshell this is a perfectly acceptable time to call it quits, I doubt anyone would blame me or see me as a failure. Just take off for a month and come back and see where it all lands. This is where the 3 F’s in my life keep me going and it’s why I haven’t given up a 100x over the past 15 years of business ownership.
They are (Faith, Family and Friendship) which I’ll go over in more detail:
Faith: Why is faith so important? Many people claim to have no faith and they seem fine so why do I need it? In a nutshell Faith gives me hope for a better tomorrow, one scripture in the bible that keeps me going is I Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Many times I feel like like I’m at the point of not being able to endure any more but the funny thing about pain and trials is that the next time they come I find I can endure more than the last. What used to flip me out and put me in a deep depression before is nothing more than a mild inconvenience now. In short the testing of my faith has developed my endurance to handle more and for that I’m incredibly thankful for the trials I have been given. Sounds kinda weird just writing it but I know it’s true in my heart as I’m writing it now.
Family: Socrates once wrote “By all means marry, if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy, if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher” … This quote is really funny because of how true it is. The same goes about getting a good husband, but the point being is that your spouse is your backbone, the one you can rely on and the one who will stand by you forever. It’s easy to lash out at them when things go bad but avoid that temptation at all cost. Sometimes I’m scared to be vulnerable with my wife because I don’t want her to worry too much but in the end I have to open up or I can end up driving a wedge between her and I that will not only ruin our marriage but possibly the business as well. Never ever turn on your support no matter how tempted, they will get you through the darkest times if you treat them with love and respect even when everything seems to be going wrong. If you are not married then you need a sounding board you can trust whether that’s your mom, dad, sister or brother. But the same rules apply, be open to input and never turn on them even if you don’t’ like what they are saying.
Friendship: Sometimes we develop friendships that are as close as family but be careful that you don’t overstay your welcome. Having friendships is a great thing but relying too much on them may make you a burden and drive them away. It’s important to have the right friendships in your life that are reciprocal. If you have what feels like one way friendships, it’s important as a business owner to let them go, they will suck the life out of you when you are at your lowest and drive you to do something stupid. The friendships you need as a business owner need to be mutually beneficial. While this may sound calculated, think about how you are not doing anyone a favor by tolerating superficial friendships. Mature friendships have a fairly good amount of healthy give and take so when you do need them they will be there for you, and the other way around. There is no room for a fair weather friend in a business owner’s life. Our life is too demanding for that so I have personally moved on from half the people I called friends a few years ago. It was really hard at first but the dividends it paid in my life where well worth it. It may be painful but doing the right thing often is.
I’m writing all this in the middle of so many trials which has really given me time to reflect on how lucky I am to have my beautiful wife Tina, my amazing kids and the rest of my family by my side. I also have amazing employees who are loyal and hard working along with a great group of friends. I know without all of them I would have given up a long time ago.
By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors.