John Durrant: The ups and downs of running a business will test you to your limits, how will you cope?

John Durrant
John Durrant

If you’re new in business, or even if you’re not, you’ll know that the ups and downs of running a business will test you to your limits.

Every business “guru” and coach on this earth will tell you all about the importance of never giving up. To persevere. You’ve probably read plenty of these types of articles and you might have taken something from them. Or, you might have read them and thought, ‘Nope, this guy doesn’t know what it’s like in my business’.

The truth is, just about every single entrepreneur has days when they could pack it all in and disappear. It’s something that comes with the territory. If you’re sitting there and can honestly say that you haven’t felt that way about your company at some point, then I salute you.

The reality is, the challenges that most entrepreneurs face – regardless of what type of business they’re in – are normally very similar.

At its most basic level, running a successful business is about turning a profit that firstly makes for a sustainable business and then, eventually, allows the business to grow. Man, if only it were that simple.

The ups and downs of running a business are many

The myriad of problems and challenges that arise in the process of turning a profit can drive you to the brink of giving up… and then that inevitably leads to feelings of guilt. “Why am I not stronger? Why do I feel like giving up?”

Humans are pretty amazing animals. We have this ability to handle way more than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. We can adapt. We can persevere where other animals couldn’t.

We sometimes just need to remember that.

It’s been said before many times, but it really is true that your ability to persevere might be the only thing that gets you through in your business sometimes.

Remaining positive in the face of challenges

Personally speaking, I’ve had several moments when I’ve felt like giving up. What’s got me through is that ability to persevere and I’m lucky to have a great co-founder in Desiree who has this amazing ability to always remain positive no matter how big the challenges facing us are.

It’s much easier said than done; to never give up. But when you make that conscious decision to persevere and things eventually turn around and improve in your business, the sense of achievement is profound. Believe me.

You have to find ways to cope. You have to make time for yourself AWAY from your business. If you don’t, then your business starts to run you instead of you running your business.

People love to boast about how many hours they work a week because they’re hustling. Here’s the deal: Most of it is absolute cr*p. If you’re working 100 hours a week every week in your business, I’d suggest what you’re doing is seriously flawed and you’re going to fail.

Work hard, absolutely! You’ll have to work harder than you’ve ever worked before but don’t let your business consume you. What the hell is the point in that?

John Durrant is the CEO of Juggling Swords, an Edinburgh digital marketing agency.