Grabbing not a few excerpts from this awesome blog post on the Signal vs Noise blog ( signalvnoise.com ):
"On February 21, 2006 a guy launches a video blog. The results, even by 2006 standards, were far less than perfect. The lighting is terrible. The camera unsteady... Later episodes have funny text effects where the title of the blog swims into view like a novice PowerPoint presentation... The first episode has 14 comments made in its entire first year. This definitely didn’t take off like a rocket ship..."
"That video blogger kept at it. In episode 1000 the intro graphics are now this fancy professional animation that reminds me of the quality of the Mad Men intro. And he’s definitely found an audience.
Today you know him as Gary Vaynerchuk and this was his Wine Library TV video blog..."
You can read the entire blog post by Nathan Kontny here.
What is interesting about these excerpts is the story of the sheer persistence of an entrepreneur even when the initial results of his/her enterprise are not anything to talk about. Could you go on posting if you saw your video posts (not even textual posts like this one) were getting very little engagement in your first year? I think many of us would have quit after some few months. Technorati's data just shows the sheer failure rate of new blogs. Many blogs die after a few months of posting by their owners. Gary's story above is quite inspirational (Aspirational? Inspirational? Aspirational? Inspirational? Your pick?).
This story is almost similar to that of Muguku, a Kenyan poultry farmer. Started with a few chicken. Grew the business until he became one of the biggest shareholders of Kenya's largest bank, Equity Bank. Now these are the real-world stories that should motivate every entrepreneur who is in the trenches figuring out how to grow their business ideas to the next level. It's good to have a positive outlook on the struggles of growing a business. Fixating on shipping or the amount of money that you are aiming to make can be unhealthy at times. It's okay to just have fun as you go along; as you watch the cashflows from time to time. Just "enjoying the journey" can help you weather the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. If Gary was obsessed with the idea of "making it" within an year his show probably would have been non-existent by today. The struggles/hardships have a way of teaching someone how to be patient even in the hardest of times. And that is what makes success sweet once you achieve what you had aimed for. Remember this:
"The greater the struggle, the greater the glory" - Cicero