I’ve never had a more appropriate time to talk to you about endurance. Right now, I’m sitting at day three of a weekend hackathon. Although I am not hosting the event, I’m the point person for the whole weekend, which means while the organizing team takes shifts and naps, I’m here 7:00 a.m. - midnight making sure everything goes well.
Exhausted does not even begin to describe how I feel. I have done similar events that I have hosted weekend long, but there is something about working this hard on someone else’s event that can really feel like an endurance test.
There are many parts of my work and my life that are endurance tests. I spent several hours at the DMV last month getting my new Illinois license and registering my car. As I looked around at all of the other unimpressed faces, I thought about how the DMV is one gigantic shared endurance test that affects every driver in the country. For some reason that was oddly comforting to me to have the realization that everyone crammed into that tiny waiting room was having this experience together.
What my team at work does is rewarding, but overall it is an endurance test. I say that not in the same connotation as the DMV, but the amount of time, money and effort we put into this organization tests our endurance and pushes our limits constantly. Being in the startup world is a challenge in of itself, let alone trying to create a place for like-minded entrepreneurs to grow and thrive. We hosted an interesting meeting last month that was a meetup for organizers of co-working spaces. I sat in on a great deal of that meeting and was comforted to know that other people are having similar challenges. All of us work long hours and take little pay and get way too emotionally invested in our organization. This can be said of most people that own or manage a business.
In our life we will face tests of our endurance. In those moments, think of the other people that face similar challenges. You are not alone in whatever challenge you face. Someone else has stood where you stand and has made it through to the other side. Take comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone and seek out others whose endurance you admire to advise you and keep you grounded.