Earlier today, I was working through a long to-do list and looking through our calendar for the next few months and reminded myself, WE WILL BE FOUR YEARS OLD IN APRIL. Wait. What?
And look, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't acknowledge that entrepreneurship is the most tenuous of games to be played. Recent statistics suggest that as many as 50% of small businesses will fail by their 5th year anniversary (which actually almost makes me ill just typing it, for fear I've leashed the bad karma into the universe.) Thankfully, we seem to only be getting better and smarter at what we do. I have no idea why, but I would guess acknowledging that failure is possible makes a difference in how the game is played. Here's my pro tip: TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED.) (Also, in full disclosure, the getting better and smarter isn't by coincidence, it's by the hardest work I could ever imagine. And for every occurrence where we are better and smarter, there is an occurrence where we are just more ridiculous and dumb...trust me.) Here's a few things I wish I would have known four years ago tonight:
- Nothing that is worthwhile is easy. There's a reason this very sentiment can be found on 1.2 million Pinterest boards...BECAUSE IT IS TRUE. I just never knew how true until I worked 65 hours a week (like last week) or lived through an existential crisis (it happens). PJP is worth it. Every time. No doubt.
- Both Jeanne and I are completely different people than four years ago. You can't take a deep dive with a business and come out on the other side unchanged. Or maybe you can...but I can't. Mostly, I miss not working on Saturdays but the wisdom and experience gained over the last 48 months makes up for it.
- And honestly, PJP is a different girl than four years ago as well. She's a direct reflection of us both, so when I look at the big picture and I can see sales growth AND also evolution as an entity, I'm super pleased.
- Saying yes when you really mean no is just really really really dumb. Saying yes to advertising you don't want or can't afford is dumb. Saying yes to working with people you don't like is dumb. Saying yes spending time doing stuff you don't want to do is dumb. Trying to make everyone in the world like you is dumb. (I'm not saying I'm past this one, but I'm a work in progress, I'm MARGINALLY better each year...and that makes me MASSIVELY better than in 2014.)
- Figuring out what we are all good at is socially acceptable, right? But, I wish I would had been a little more clear and honest in 2014 about what I'm really terrible at, like Quickbooks. And long-term planning. And finishing a project that I've started. (And self-esteem...though that is a whole different sort of blog post.) And look, once you know where you fall short...figuring out how to fix it is easier.
I consider PJP to be my third child and like parenting, in this gig the days are long but the years are short. I can't even wait to see what sort of girl she will be at 14, can you?