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Endurance and Opportunity

The United States culture of entrepreneurship is all about fast growth and quick returns. That’s fine for venture capitalists and short-term thinkers. To them, it’s all about the sprint.

For the rest of us, we may not have an idea that catapults us into the stratosphere (or at least the cover of Fast Company or Entrepreneur), or we may not achieve quick success in our business. You may have attended a good college or university; your grades were good; you have great connections in your personal network.

But are those enough?

A business consultant once told me “You know, you’re not the smartest, but you’ll outwork everybody else."

I don’t agree with his first assessment, but do acknowledge his observation on the second. Winning isn’t always about being first. It’s about enduring, outlasting, out-hustling everybody else.

We have to focus on endurance and watch for opportunity. For you and me, it’s a marathon. We run to win, always striving to finish.

A colleague who recently launched a business said to me, “This is hard. I”m doing everything—sales, scheduling, programming and more. I want to work on the business, not in it.” He is risking much, buying a radio station in a small market. He has to hustle.

Isn’t that what makes it so fun and exhilarating though? If being an entrepreneur was easy, everybody would be one.

Hustling doesn't necessarily mean working nonstop. It means work diligently, patiently, urgently to fulfill your vision.

Your vision is the reality of what success looks like in the future; it’s the prize you’re working to win. That’s what another colleague has done for 25 years, preparing for a role as a college president. She hustled, studied, and worked. Recently, she attained her goal, beating out 35 other candidates to become the president of one of the top community colleges in the United States.

The apostle Paul speaks of running, of racing to win. While we all want to win, the longest races require endurance, discipline, and self control.

Living a life of faith and being an entrepreneur both require a similar approach: Enduring through trials and triumphs; keeping our eye on the prize that we work to attain.

Even though you will have to take risks, this is not about taking long shots, it’s about playing the long game. God is interested in eternity and long-term impact, even while he cares for your short-term needs.

So... maybe I’m not the smartest. But I will endure, I will finish the race, and I will work to win.

Will you?

Photo by Drew Patrick Miller

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