Having been a part of multiple start up businesses and start up operations within existing businesses, I am still amazed at how hard it actually is. I believe that these inevitable start up struggles are a very intentional part of God's perfect design.
Here are a few thoughts on the 3 phases of any start up initiative:
1) The first phase, known as the idea phase, is so exciting and emotionally appealing that it allows you to overlook the storms that lie ahead. We have grand visions about all the wonderful possibilities. Without this intoxicating phase most of us would quit before we start.
2) The next phase consists of the dark days and maximum struggle. During this phase you face every possible challenge and struggle in the book. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong all at the same time. This phase forces rapid learning that could be accomplished no other way. This phase weeds out the ones that don't have the grit or stamina to persevere through.
3) The next phase is the traction phase. Once you have made it through the dark days you will wake up one day and things are just moving. By no means is it easy but it is certainly easier. During this phase your focus is not as much about rapid learning and survival as it is about growth, leadership and developing a strong culture. These are the things that will drive the traction phase and will drive your growth as a person and a leader.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
I am thankful for the gift of challenge and struggle, so that we may persevere through and become mature and complete.