Photo by Jo Kassis from Pexels

By Kevin Elliott

Entrepreneurship has been compared to everything from farming to jumping off a cliff. Most of them are true. 

Other than making a child, growing a business is the most creative thing a human can do. And like all meaningful, creative endeavors, it is really, really, hard. We should remind ourselves of that more often. 

I’m a Floridian, so my favorite analogy for entrepreneurship is building a sandcastle. 

It is creative

You start with a pile of dirt and make anything your mind and hands can produce. That’s that joy.

It reflects the personality of the builder

Some people like traditional castles with parapets and a moat. Others embed shells and driftwood for decoration. Your castle, your style. Same with businesses. That’s the freedom.

It requires constant maintenance

Here’s the hard part and where most businesses—and sandcastles—fail. We want the creativity and freedom, but the maintenance wears us down. 

Sandcastles and businesses tend to deteriorate unless someone is consistently tending them. It’s not sexy, it’s thankless, and it never stops. Most new entrepreneurs underestimate this part and, when the tide comes in, their creation melts back into the ocean. 

You can love the maintenance too

Here’s the good news. If you love your business, constantly caring for it is part of that love. If you’re a parent, you understand this. Raising kids can be frustrating, but there is nothing more satisfying than seeing them happy and thriving. It makes all the hard work worth it. It’s a mission. 

Take heart, we’re all fighting the tide

If you’re overwhelmed with the maintenance of your business or struggling to keep up or think you’re failing because you constantly have to work on your business and think others don’t have these problems, please take courage. You’re doing it right. This is all of us. This is the life of an entrepreneur. 

You are building something beautiful with your business. And beauty doesn’t come easy.

So get another bucket of sand and add a parapet. 

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