He moved his computer over and made some space so I could squeeze in beside him. It’s been a while since we sat side by side in the coffee shop. I was happy for the chance to catch up.

Truth is, the conversations with him often inspire me to write about. He’s so bright and smart and has a way of seeing things that is always fresh. I guess that’s why he’s an entrepreneur!

I asked about his latest project and he began to explain all about it. The spark returned to his eye and his energy peaked as he spoke about the potential of what he in trying to figure out. I loved to seem him so focused and happy, it hasn’t always been easy – we’ve shared the ups and downs together many times over the last few years.

As he completed talking about his project he said, well you know Lisa, more than most, the ups and downs, the challenges and joys of this world, right?

I remember how a few years ago, I came into the coffee shop, and felt like I was just days away from throwing it all in. Giving it all up and getting a job. And it’s happened several times over the last 8 years since I started out in all this.

On this particular day I just couldn’t hide it. He immediately picked up on my energy. What’s up? he asked. I told him about the promotion that had failed, the course that I wasn’t going to be able to run because not enough people had signed up. How I had been planning it for months and had invested tons of time and resources into it. How I was so disappointed and just didn’t know what I would do next. I was nearly in tears.

He listened. He told me, yeah that’s really tough. I’m so sorry to hear this.

He didn’t try to tell me everything would be okay. Or to convince me that it’s not as bad as it feels. He just heard me.

I didn’t give up that time.

You know why I didn’t give up then….? Maybe you can relate to some of the reasons….

  1. …because I truly believed in what I do…
  2. I knew that I can help people and make their work and their lives more meaningful…
  3. I’d put in so much time and effort, I wasn’t ready to throw it all away…
  4. I had people around me (even just one or two) who knew what I was going through and we’re there to listen…..
  5. I made the decision to reach out to others, to ask for help and to take their guidance – and that’s what really helped every time.

Not just when I felt like quitting but at every point in my entrepreneurial journey when I’ve felt disappointed or disheartened, when I’ve had worries and concerns, when the unexpected happened, or uncertainty felt crippling.

These have been the guiding principles for me. What keeps you going?
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