“To get what you love, you must first be patient with what you hate.” -Al Ghazali
Any startup or small business owner can tell you: The road to success is lined–no, littered–with things you hate to do. Things you don’t ever want to do again, can’t imagine doing, or have absolutely zero desire to try. It’s inevitable when you start a business.
At first, you won’t have enough money to hire talented people to handle the things you hate. For a while, it’s just going to be you, chugging away, loving some of your work and hating a lot of it.
Some people wonder why business owners still do the things they really hate doing. But doing the things you hate in business has a special significance and the ability to teach us a lot, if we’ll open up to the experience.
As Nic Haralambous so eloquently put it in a blog post titled Startups: Helping Entrepreneurs Do the Things They Hate More Often:
“Just as you think you’re about to break your baby says its first words or takes its first step and all the pain you felt two years before disappears. Sometimes doing things you hate is the only way to really understand and appreciate the things you love. More often than not it’s impossible to do one without the other. That’s what it feels like to run a startup.”
It’s very true, the quote by Al Ghazali above. Learning to be patient with what we don’t enjoy in life and business helps us “get to” the things we do enjoy.
We deal with working long hours because it affords us the opportunity to work for ourselves or set our own schedule.
We don’t mind trudging through the workday on precious few hours’ sleep because we know the presentation we put together for a group of investors is going to pay off immensely.
And we are okay with being patient with the payroll, that office door with a squeaky hinge, the taxes that (horrifyingly) roll around each year–as long as it gets us closer to what we love, we’ll do it all.