I attended a Think Tank on Saturday for the Jack Neufeld Foundation – founded by Jack Neufeld in 2004 to help provide housing and community resources to disadvantaged and vulnerable families of society – to dialogue about Jack’s latest humanitarian project in Pachacámac, Peru, in the community of Manchay. I’ve been asked to be a member of a team that is developing small business training and entrepreneurship education to local Peruvian adult entrepreneurs. Peru has one of the highest levels of entrepreneurship in the world – one third of Peru’s population are self-employed or small business owners. How could I say no?
The meeting was kicked off by Dr. Terry Young. He told those of us participating in a development project for the first time that we are embarking on a grand adventure, and that every grand adventure starts with a great idea and ends with a grand achievement. He also told us that, between the great idea and the grand achievement, was the vast wasteland of grinding it out.
I liked that. I associated the grand adventure of a development project in Peru with the grand adventure of starting a small business. For those of us still running our businesses, we’re in the vast wasteland of grinding it out. Dr. Young went on to say that for most people, the vast wasteland can be too daunting, too hard, too frustrating and just before the great achievement – they quit. They give up. He said it was like Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings – the worst place imaginable – right before the grand achievement.
He ended his talk by asking us to visualize our grand achievement – to make it the thing we think about – while we’re slogging it out in the vast wasteland. And to never give up.
So for those of you in the vast wasteland of grinding it out in a small business, take heart. You’re not alone. Your grand achievement is on the horizon.