May 29, 2013 | Posted by etc
Spring is busting out all over. On a recent walk, I marveled at the oriental poppies in a neighbors yard. Voluptuous vermillion. Ravishing red. In stark contrast to the spring green leaves. It is quite amazing to think that these flowers erupt from one teeny tiny poppy seed. Do you realize how small and insignificant these seeds are? They are those little black things that get dusted across your sandwich at the deli. Yes, those little things. When placed into the ground, they transform. They evolve. They become that. That gorgeous bloom.
The transformation that occurs in the life of the Start Up is not much different. And this is why I love the small business journey. Few of us would ever guess what we are capable of doing, but there are times when the transformation that takes place in the life of a person is nothing short of stunning. The challenges of the environment set the stage. The journey is neither easy nor quick. The stress and set backs do not feel good. Yet it is the challenge itself that creates the bloom. Entrepreneurs become managers. Leaders. Experts. Brave.
Take for example the composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, the genius musician of the late Romantic period. He seemed to be a magnet for bad critics. The critics were wrong. They were simply on a bandwagon. Enter, stage left, the antagonist, the famous author Leo Tolstoy. Leo invited Sergei to dinner. After Sergei played a composition for him, Leo commented, “Is such music needed by anyone? I must tell you how I dislike it all.” The famous author was hardly a member of the peanut gallery. But the inbreeding of all these critics had also infected Tolstoy. His commentary led Sergei to much self-doubt, yet his gift could not be repressed. He sought help, even psychotherapy. Rachmaninoff knew, deep down, that he was creating good things. He overcame the negative press, and continued to write, becoming one of the world’s most celebrated pianists and composers.
Many small entrepreneurs have trouble knowing what they are ultimately qualified to do, and have trouble envisioning the final bloom. They do not know what hue they are destined to be. Even if it is not crystal clear, keep growing. Keep improving. Keep on taking opportunities. If you are growing, the bloom has to manifest itself sooner or later. Then you can say, “I didn’t know I could do it. But I surprise myself, because I just did do it.” Keep envisioning the goal. If the critics could see you now.
I am fully aware that the small business environment is not always encouraging. Do not despise the rigor of the daily struggle. I am fully convinced that we are better, and stronger for it. Everyone has a bloom of a specific hue to offer the world, and the world will be short changed if you do not deliver. What good is a poppy hidden from view? It is meant to be shared. Every new step of growth gets you closer to glory. Without the struggle, how would you know what you are capable of? Here’s to becoming all you are meant to be.