No Grit No Pearl (2 min read)
What beliefs underpin successful businesses?
Working with a number of thriving start-ups, I ask that question every day. I noticed some shared principles. Their founders have a core belief in themselves and their vision, which helps them to keep going and overcome incessant challenges. They also show up every day, whether the tide is in or out.
Starting your own business does not come with guarantees. At the beginning, there are just your ideas and dreams, some experience, a burning desire to create your own enterprise – your pearl – and most importantly the belief that you can do it and that it will succeed. Without that belief nothing is possible.
You start with a shell and some grit. You are not sure if that’s the right shell or enough grit, but you give it a go. Putting all your time, energy and resources into cultivating your perfect pearl.
For a long time nothing happens. Some days you are come close to losing faith in yourself – perhaps the shell is wrong or the grit is too coarse?
But your belief in your dream never wavers. Others think you are foolish or crazy. Who creates a pearl from some grit and a shell? You defend your dream and press on.
One day you see a glimmer of pearlescent dust in the grit and stare at it speechless.
You nourish the pearl in your tiny tub filled with seawater. Just as your infant pearl starts to take form the cat knocks over the tub breaking apart the weak structure. Undeterred, you pick up the pieces and start again. This time you fix down the tub and put a net over it.
Day and night you look after the pearl. As it grows bigger and brighter your heart swells with pride and joy.
Then the day comes when you know you have to give your pearl to the sea – so it can grow bigger and stronger. You let it go hoping that it survives the surf and escapes the teeth of hungry creatures.
For a short while, you stand on the shore looking out believing that your pearl will succeed. Then you turn your back to the sea, pick up some more grit, find another shell and start again.
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