trial by fire

Trial by Fire

Starting a business is about stepping into the unknown. It’s the uncertainty that is the biggest challenge: not getting a steady paycheck and having very little idea of tomorrow.

When we grow up, we are taught to play it safe and value security. Safety nets are important so nothing will catch you by surprise.

In business, you are continuously getting caught off guard and almost nothing is steady and certain.

Business is trial by fire. Your limits, resolve and determination will be tested.

What’s worse, everything you do may conflict with everything you thought the world was supposed to be.

People think safety nets are needed, but in reality they are more like spider webs: they prevent and block you from living life.

When you step out to the unknown and you are fighting in the middle of the desert, the only way you are going to survive is when you have nothing to fall back on.

Just 2 months after starting my business I moved to Croatia and dropped out of all the safety nets and social security that were provided by my home country Finland.

In retrospect this was a crazy decision: we barely had any money (I had $1000 after flights) and there was no promise of making any money in the future.

Moreover, Croatia offered so many new challenges I was not properly prepared for: hustling the apartment, all the hassle with the temporary residence and getting used to the new country.

The hard part was dealing with all of this nonsense WHILE learning how to run and maintain a business.

The pressure and stress were unimaginable and it’s impossible to put into words. It’s something you would only understand if you were to do it by yourself.

This decision to move out of the safety and step into the uncertainty not only defined ME but our entire business. It proved that we had the resolve and guts to finish what we started and that we were not turning back.

We cut off the safety nets and had no plan B. It was to make it or die. I was ready to die to make it work. I am still ready to die and I am not kidding.

You see, plan B is a hoax similar to the safety nets. You can’t be both SAFE and IN DANGER at the same time. Business is all danger — there is nothing safe about it.

Unless you take the decision to jump out of the plane, you will never make it work.

Plan A and B are delusional thinking. In the past it was impossible to stay at home and fight on the battlefield at the same time. Now it’s still the same but we are deluded to think it’s possible.

There has to be only one plan, and even that plan is not real. You can’t really plan for business. All of your “plans” will be thrown out of the window once you are fighting for your life.

This is why most of you are not going to make it or you won’t ever start. You need to lose control over pre-determined ideas to be successful. This frightens people because you cannot really trust anything but yourself.

In business, you don’t do what you want to do but what you have to do. You flow in the river of life — in the river of uncertainty and steer it to your advantage. This is all there is to it.

The stronger you become, the better you learn how to steer the flow. The wiser you become, the better you understand the flow and easier you can steer it to your advantage.

You need both mental fortitude and eyes of Horus to run a successful business.

Business is just what life really is. Uncertain and abstract where the only thing you can trust is yourself.