That’s me in the middle on the top of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental USA. Any experienced hiker would tell you it is a very difficult hike. For the non-outdoorsy 14-year-old it was the hardest thing I had encountered in my young life. No words could ever accurately describe the difficulty or experience.
Fast forward to adulthood and the day I chose to follow in my father’s footsteps to become a small business owner of a small industrial laundry company servicing hotels and hospitals in New England. It was a grueling business operating 21 hours per day, 7 days per week. Just like the Mount Whitney climb, the relative difficulty of owning a small business is nearly impossible to explain or relate to unless you have experienced it for yourself. Making payroll, attracting customers, keeping customers, fixing things, buying things, paying bills — the list is never ending.
Being what I refer to as a main street entrepreneur can be thankless, lonely, and unforgiving, yet at the end of the day those who choose this path do so despite the difficulty or odds of success. Whether they’re driven by purpose, pride, or the promise of good fortune, main street entrepreneurs are built with a drive and commitment that is strangely unique. There is no quit, or reason for giving up because without it there is neither survival nor achievement.
At the time I loathed my father for taking me on this journey yet only when I became a small business owner would I fully appreciate the trip for what it was – a life lesson on self-motivation and perseverance. It’s become my go-to mental tool that has helped propel me over pitfalls and past adversity that comes with the territory of main street entrepreneurship. Difficulty is always on a relative scale, with the most extreme always amounting to the last few hours before reaching Mount Whitney’s summit. The hardest challenges are always measured against it to put things in proper perspective.
UnityLab is inspired by the journey of those who forge their own path and while no one can fully prepare you for how difficult main street entrepreneurship can be, we want to be your go-to tool and help. Because we believe that increasing the likelihood of your success means that our collective communities are stronger, and the world is a better place. We understand that you are trying to fit 30 hours of work into a 24-hour day because we’ve been there. We’ve endured your pain and are committed to making a positive difference on your journey.
For all the peaks and valleys, you’ll overcome as a main street entrepreneur I wish you the greatest of success. For our part, I promise you that UnityLab will keep pace with you and stand ready just in case you need a helping hand.