This morning as I checked my Facebook feed, I was struck by a photo memory that eight years ago today, I got my pink slip and lost my big fat corporate job. The next day, on a Saturday I started working on my company, MultiFunding, and we launched six weeks later.
I remember the first few anniversaries vividly. The team got a cake, and I would often write a blog post talking about what I learned.
But eight years later, if it wasn't for my Facebook feed I would have forgotten the milestone entirely.
Did I miss something important? On one hand I could hear my mother in my ear saying that every anniversary or birthday should be celebrated and embraced. And on the other hand, the reality is that as you grind through building a company, "what is important" changes.
The first year was a big deal. It reminded me of our kids first birthdays, or our first wedding anniversary. "We had made it !!!" I thought. Everyone says that getting through the first year is a big deal. And it is, but the challenges just get different as you move on.
As I reflect on our eighth anniversary, what strikes me is advice I got early on from folks who are wiser then me. They told me to prepare for an 8 to 10 year grind to build a business that is meaningful and sustainable. I smiled at them in disbelief. I thought I would be rocking and rolling in three years. They were right, and I was wrong.
As I am not an athlete, or anything close to one, I feel a bit hypocritical in suggesting that building a business is like running a marathon. However, I imagine that if I was ever to run a marathon, the milestone between mile seven and eight would not mean much. I would be more focused on keeping my rhythm, and pushing forward to mile nine or ten.
No cake or celebrations this time around. Sorry mom. Let's save the cake for the end of the marathon.