Frustration Precedes Breakthroughs

I caught up with a founder recently and we talked about his frustrations. He shared that he’s been having a hard time the last few months. A laundry list of things aren’t going his way—from product, to customers, to managing his team. Some are the result of subpar decisions on his part. So many things aren’t going as he anticipated that it’s starting to wear on him mentally.

He asked my thoughts on his situation, and I shared my founder experience with him. On my journey, there was a pattern: when lots of things weren’t going right and my frustration level was peaking, I was usually on the cusp of a big breakthrough or material change in the business.

For example, we cut off one of our main suppliers because we weren’t aligned culturally. This caused us to start burning cash at a rapid rate. Tensions were high. We had some runway because of cash reserves, and I still believed in what we were trying to accomplish and in our team. Just when we were approaching max pain from cash burn, we identified a new supplier more advanced than our previous one. That situation set us up to go on a growth tear, and we scaled to eight figures in revenue.

When nothing is going right, be mindful that you’re likely on the cusp of a breakthrough if you push through!