What back surgery has reminded me about entrepreneurship. #1 Progress is painful.

After nearly nine years of problems, I finally had back surgery this week. This is a short series I am writing as I lay in bed recovering. It is probably all the drugs that lead me to believe I have anything of value to offer, but in and out of my dosing I seem to be struck with these parallels I’d like to share. So, here we go:

1.) Progress is painful.

Just minutes before my surgery, I naively thought I would wake up feeling ten times better than when I went under anesthesia. Having spent two months in bed, I was convinced I could not feel any worse. I was wrong. Like most entrepreneurs, I committed to something I thought would make all of my pain go away. I had an idea in mind; a belief that if I could just do this one thing, everything would instantly change and my life would be so much better. However, this new process quickly turned out to be far more painful than the place I had started from. I had woken up to a new reality and a different pain. Often, when entrepreneurs wake up in this place we want to quit. However, just because something hurts right now is not evidence that it is going to hurt forever. You must believe that. You must also turn this belief into a commitment to push forward, as uncomfortable as that might be. When times are tough, start measuring your success in terms of moments. Remind yourself of what you are getting back in every second, and never of what you have lost in days. This is the only way to see that you are getting stronger. I am getting stronger. I acknowledge the small improvements. I count them by the hours. I cannot worry about the days.

READ NEXT SERIES POST: #2 Building trust in others is YOUR responsibility.