Why Starting Something New is Often Painful

by Don Smith

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I've started many groups over the years. An online Toastmasters club where people become better speakers, business owners' groups, church groups, pick up soccer groups, fitness groups, and this site with all the associated social media groups.

I want to tell you that it's easy to start new things when you know how, but that's not truthful. It's usually tough to start something new from scratch, and not everything works out, even for experienced leaders.

Starting New Ventures is Both Fun and Painful

When I first started my Twitter account, r/personalgrowthchannel, r/HappyMarriages, Triberr groups, this site, and various Facebook groups, they all started with zero people involved. I enjoyed the challenge, though, and gradually those groups grew.

But it was also painful. When you go for some time with no comments on your posts and no new followers, it's easy to get discouraged and give up. Starting a meeting for a new group then finding out you only have two other people in the room is discouraging. It's a lot easier to stay encouraged when you have 10k people following you, with more people getting involved in a day than you used to see in weeks.

Every Adventure Has a Beginning

I've had many painful reminders of the fact that starting something new takes work. The Toastmasters group I attempted to start ended with only a handful of us on most zoom calls.

Even though I loved the small group and getting to know RayAnn, Belinda, Kathy, and Makeda a bit more, it was a bit of a blow to the ego that more people didn't show up. Ultimately, I shut down that group. Other groups that I started thrived, though.

Every adventure has a beginning
Photo by Ole Witt on Unsplash

You Need to Push the Ball Over the Hill to Succeed

At the beginning of any new venture, you are pushing the ball up the hill. If you can get others to help you or are willing to put a lot of money behind it, you can move it up the hill faster, but there's a tendency to quit just before you get to the top.

Once you get to the top, it's easier, because then you've got momentum behind you. But getting there is tough; that's why most would-be business owners quit before they've created a successful business.

People rolling a rock uphill
Don't quit pushing just before you get to the top
Photo by Keith Jonson on Unsplash

Don't Quit Too Soon

If you're starting something new, don't quit too soon. There are no sports superstars that got there by quitting after the first few practices because things were too tough. I have never met a successful business owner who didn't push through some tough times initially.

If you want to reap the rewards of your efforts, be disciplined enough to push through those uncomfortable first moments. Sometimes, there is a point when you realize that it's not worth the effort like some of the groups I've shut down, but if you don't give it 100%, you'll never achieve success.

If I hadn't stuck with this site, you wouldn't be reading this article now. While some people don't know when it's time to walk away, most people give up way too soon on their dreams. Don't let that be you. Yes, starting new things can be painful. But they are usually worth it in the end.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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