Life may be like a box of chocolates, but running a business is like being the tester for a mountain of jack-in-the-boxes. Each day's task is to muster the courage to crank away at a new one with no visible result, until BAM - terrifying clown in the face.
Sometimes the clown is a pleasant surprise. Like when dozens of press releases and phone calls to people who have no authority to do anything but refuse to pass you along to someone who does, result in just one person saying "Sure, we would love to give you six minutes of prime air time on the news. Have fun!" It's still startling, but in that exciting, roller-coaster kind of way.
Other times, the clown comes in the form of bureaucratic nonsense that puts a stop to all of the "genius ideas" that would have offered the "big break". Either that, or in the form of a port strike, halting all potential to be able to pay rent. That clown has a particularly malicious grin on his face. He's the one kids' nightmares are based on.
Whichever form it takes, the shock of a new obstacle or opportunity has to be dealt with. And it's in that moment of respite, when "Pop Goes the Weasel" cuts out and there's quiet, that it feels, however briefly, like you've made progress.
You may be thinking that these don't sound like lessons learned. They sound more like facts of life. The lesson (singular as I haven't been in business that long and can't be expected to have spent copious time on introspection) is simple: turning the crank is where it all starts.
So while some days the angst of waiting for something to happen seems almost unbearable and it feels right to call it a day and go to bed, the reality is that at any moment, without warni - BAMMM