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Productivity / Growth

What if it takes 10 years?

If shortly after starting your business, someone with a crystal ball told you it would be a decade before you really felt you’d cracked it, what would you do? Here’s what I reckon.

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After grumbling with disappointment and disbelief, I’d probably console myself with the knowledge that a decade really isn’t such a long time. Only one in a squillion ventures is actually an overnight success and, anyway, what else would I be doing?

After all, for most of us it’s not like we’re planning to conquer the world and most days we do work that fulfils us, makes us happy and puts food on the table (according to everything you’ve ever told us in our research studies anyway).

If I look at Flying Solo – just about to head into its ninth year as an online community in case anyone’s counting – I wouldn’t have missed a minute of it and it’s never felt like it’s been a long time coming.

Undeniably it’s taken a while to develop into something approaching a stable and sustainable business, but the path has been a hoot and every evolutionary step necessary.

"Building a viable solo or micro business takes time and varying degrees of rediscovery and redesign. And so it should. "

When so many business experts proclaim the need to get cash in the door fast, the importance of scalability and how to ‘have it all’ in just a few hours a week, it’s hardly surprising the occasional spell of despondency sets in to the typically slow-build business.

Want more articles like this? Check out the growth section.

Building a viable solo or micro business takes time and varying degrees of rediscovery and redesign. And so it should.

This stuff is important. For a high percentage of us, the way we choose to work and the work we choose to do is a lifestyle choice. I want to work from home when it suits me. I want to work the hours I set and I know I’m happiest when I surround myself with people who put work/life balance before bank balance.

Could we all make more money, more quickly? Very possibly. But at what cost?

I’ve never been a fan of the ‘get rich quick’ proposition, because anything strong needs time to grow. Maybe 10 years or more.

What say you? If it took you twice as long to get where you want to go, how would that change what you do today?

Robert Gerrish

is the founder of Flying Solo and helps soloists stay upbeat and energised. He’s recently published The 1-Minute Commute, is a presenter and facilitator and works one-on-one with those needing a refresh. Find out more about his skills and services and his Olympus Trip 35 camera side hustle or connect on LinkedIn.

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