One time I gave a presentation to practice for an upcoming business plan competition. We had mock judges to give feedback to help us improve before the big show down.
I got eviscerated.
According to one judge my idea would be beat by an email and a spreadsheet. The company color scheme was horribly wrong for the personnel in my industry. And my stick figures were sexist because they didn’t have photoshopped pony tails.
As the feedback rained down on me I can remember the flurry of emotions I went through. Embarrassment. Anger. Frustration. Overall, I was crushed.
I would later go on to win that competition. And in that period of success I can remember how happy I was. Of course for my accomplishment, but also because I remember how low I felt that practice night. To me, it made the success feel that much better. Because that had scarred me, no one but me would understand that particular view of success.
For entrepreneurs, our lives are full of these moments. But they are moments unique to each of us. As much as we wish to empathize for one another and see the same view, no one else has the same scar tissue. This makes your look at your success uniquely lonely.
But this isn’t a bad thing. It just makes it more fulfilling and special. I have no idea why that feedback scarred me so bad. Sure, you could tell me to suck it up. Everyone gets a negative critique at some point.
And I’ll say I did. That it made me focus on what success meant to me. What I learned is that I had the determination to overcome anything to reach my goal. That if I had to reach the moon, I’d make it. Even if I had to crawl.
Who knows what will make your view of success unique. It’s a lonely view you should relish, because it’s hard to share.
Except maybe with the birds.