As I was catching up with a founder friend this week, we reminisced about the early days of our businesses. We were both eager young founders a few years removed from college when we started out. There was a huge disconnect between what we thought we knew and what we actually knew. One of the things neither of us grasped was just how long a commitment we were signing up for. We both spent over a decade building our companies. Put another way, we committed to ideas that would take over a decade to reach scale.
When I started CCAW, I had a few years of corporate experience. I gave zero thought to how long I would stay at my company. I just knew I wanted to start my own company. I think jumping in with both feet worked out for me because I was passionate and committed to what I was doing. My passion made me comfortable with putting in crazy hours for years.
It takes a long time to build a thriving company. Most founders I know reached success after seven to ten years. The journey is full of ups and downs. Having passion and conviction is one of the keys to success. Without them, you’re not likely to endure.
If you have an idea and you’re considering starting a company, ask yourself: Am I willing to work on this for a decade? If the answer is yes, you might be on to something.