I wrestled in high school. I was pretty good. Not great, but better than most. Wrestling is one of the sports that you love and hate at the same time. You love that it's one of the most physical demanding things because it makes you feel super hardcore but you also hate that it's so demanding and you just want it to end. You love how good you look while you do it but you hate that you have to cut weight. If you are wrestling in high school now and reading this know that you will miss it when it's gone. I never thought I would say that, but I do miss wrestling. Highschool wrestling matches are three periods and each of those periods are two minutes. There is no harder 6 minutes in sports and if you want to argue that then you obviously haven't tried to wrestle someone for 6 straight minutes, but that is not the point of this post.
Here is how a full match usually goes.
Before it starts : You're pumped up and ready to go.
1st Period : LET'S DO THIS!!!!!
2nd Period : You don't know if you are going to make it and you find yourself thinking, "Why am I doing this? My face is cut up, I have lost 15 lbs. I am constantly hanging out with gross, sweaty guys. I haven't gone out with my friends in weeks. I am wearing spandex. Why I am wrestling? This was a stupid idea. Next year I am going to play basketball or even better yet do nothing at all. I just want this to end."
3rd Period : I am so close to the end. I can make it.
After the match if you win : I love this sport. I want to get better.
After the match if you lose : I hate this sport. I need to get better.
Life has second periods, lots of them and I find myself currently in one. It's the time of life that doubt starts to sneak it. Right now it's my second period in business and more specifically the store. Things started off great and were exciting and then came the holidays which are awesome, but now it's January and sales are slow, while bills are still high. It's the second period and I have two options.
1. I can tap out and quit. Say something like, "It's the economy." or "It just wasn't working out."
2. I can keep wrestling and hopefully make it to the 3rd period.
The nice thing about wrestling is that the second period was only 2 minutes no matter what, but it's not like that in business or life. Sometimes we can be in the second period for weeks, months or years and the third period or finish line might seem so unreachable. It's times like this where faith in God really matters. The second period is what separates the winners from the losers. It showed you who is going to grit it out and push through the pain, exhaustion and suffering and who is going to quit.
While you are in the second period it is awful and you find yourself thinking that nothing good will ever come from this but you're wrong. Good things will always come to those who push through adversary. Even if I end up failing and the store closes I will have shown to myself, my family, my wife and my God that I believed and pushed through the second period. That I am not a quitter and that in the end all I could do was my best.
When you own a business you're tendency is to always paint a very beautiful picture about how things are going so your clients don't get scared but it's not always like that and I think that's okay. If you were to speak with anyone who is super successful they would be the first to tell you, but I think they would also tell you that those times were when they learned the most.
If you are out there and you are currently in the second period of life and wondering what's the point or thinking about quitting. Don't! Keep wrestling, keep believing and keep moving on because the third period is coming and you can make it.