I've been recently confronted with a series of challenges that were significant disappointments for me and I was reminded of when I was first getting started in business. When Adam and I were just venturing out some eight years ago we had a lot of community cheerleaders. People who wanted to see a couple of young techies succeed in their hometown. I think this was primarily because they had read about this sort of thing in their favorite edition of Forbes and thought it would be novel to have something like that happen near them. The problem was, nobody really wanted to support us, take a chance on our ideas or even throw us scrap work to stay alive while we proved our ideas. When I won the Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneur Award I joked that I was everyone's favorite small business owner they'd never support. Many other businesses around us offered to partner with us, only later did we discover they were attempting to take our clients or using us as a sales tool but not scheduling any work to actually be done by our firm.
It was hard to not retaliate, to lash out and make enemies. No doubt, I've said some wrong things in the wrong company but all things considered I kept a lot inside. We decided our best response was to do good work and try to keep our mouths shut. Our inspiration was from 1 Thessolonians 4:11 "make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you." Whenever we did get a chance, we'd do our absolute best to crush it and we never made fanfare about it. We believe we are doing what we are supposed to and that we are making a positive difference. We are a different kind of company and the reward has been great. We've experienced growth on a sustainable scale, we've created good jobs, friends, renonavted a building and done work we're proud of, and lasting longer than anyone dared give us credit for. All those people along the way have had a remarkable way of taking care of themselves without us having to get ensnared in the negativity.
This blog is really a lesson and reminder to myself since I'm the only real reader of this thing. When others write you off, take advantage of your hard work and take you for granted, put your head down, smile, do good work. You'll be better off for it.