Sometimes the question arises “what is it like to start a business?” There is one story, from 2016, that sticks out in my memory that, at least in part, answers this question. As a bit of exposition, at this time, I worked general labor construction on and off using videography as an extra source of income.
I had been talking to a potential client for some time. This was one of the largest bids I had submitted and would free me of the “9 am-5 pm” which was really closer to a “6 am-5 pm.” This client was ready for an in-person meeting to go over the final details of the contract, but their availability was slim. There was only one day, during the week, during lunch that they would be available. Of course, I accepted the meeting; however, it was too late to call out of my day-to-day job.
The meeting date arrived. I was finishing trashing several hundred pounds of sheetrock, dripping with sweat and I’m sure wreaking of an odor that I had already become accustomed to. The time was 11:30 am, 30 minutes before my lunch was supposed to start and I received a message saying we need to push the meeting up.
Without thinking twice, I ran down the stairs of the half-built apartment complex to the parking garage. I popped my trunk, stripped to my boxers, and used a handy water bottle and 3-in-1 shampoo and soap in my makeshift shower. Other workers made awkward eye contact as they were curious why there was a half-naked man standing behind his car dowsing himself in water.
More than a few sprits of cologne, some hair gel, and I was ready to go. Already a bit late, driving 20 over the speed limit, I made it to the meeting. Calm and collected. Overall, the meeting went great! The client was going to pass the contract on to a few higher-ups and we were pretty much ready to start. With a few texts to my supervisor that “I’ll be late because of traffic,” I made my way back to work feeling on top of the world, ready to feel the freedom of full-time self-employment. I finished my workday, got home, crammed in video editing until about 1:00 am, and went to bed ready to put in my resignation the next day.
On the way to work the next morning, I received a message. The contract wasn’t going through. They decided to go with someone else. I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment. Months of talking to this potential client, nearly putting my main income source on the line, and not getting the gig. This is starting a business. Putting in your maximum effort, failing, and trying again the next day.
I am happy to report that I no longer work construction. I now run a small production team full-time. Although the work changes, and at times is much more enjoyable, it doesn’t get easier. My business is still in its infant stages and I have a long road ahead, but no matter the roadblocks or disappointments or failures I’ll just keep pushing forward. Moral of the story: No matter what, just don’t give up.