Ten years ago my friend Wes tried to kill himself.
He had ( at least what I thought…) was a thriving pest control business he had started nearly 20 years ago.
We were in each other’s weddings, had been there for each other through thick and thin… the good times, and the bad.
Then I had retired, moved to Costa Rica and we still corresponded but it just wasn’t the same.
Wes and I met almost 40 years ago in an AA meeting.
Wes had been a disc jockey with the most commanding voice I had ever heard… I was a dropout from graduate school.
We were both near the end of our ropes and knew that this was probably our last shot at changing our lives…and we decided to move in together and support each other.
Within two years… and each having two years of sobriety, each of us was married and in our own house.
And for years, our families got together…but gradually we drifted apart.
We still talked but it just wasn’t the same… the things we had in common weren’t there like they used to be.
And when I was in Costa Rica, I got the phone call from his wife, Mary…
They had been going through rough times financially and finally, they had decided to divorce…
And one night Wes went into his garage, shut the garage door, turned on the ignition and waited to die.
But he didn’t…at least not right away.
But I was able to fly back to see him, catching a half empty redeye from the Juan Santamaria airport in San Jose.
And I drove like a demon with my rental car for two hours to the hospital where they had Wes hooked up on life support.
But he died an hour before I got there.
And I blamed myself for a long time… that I wasn’t there when he needed me.
Why am I writing about this?
Well… mainly because having your own business… being an entrepreneur is one of the most difficult things EVER. And the odds of any of us succeeding is heavily against us.
I can write about perseverance and prayer and “asking for help” and getting the right advice… and a hundred other things but the bottom line is that it is damn hard work.
A lot of you reading this I know will agree.
The thing that bothers me the most is that the one thing that still drives me is that I believe in what I do… and if it was not for that passion and the belief that I can help others…
Most small business owners and entrepreneurs that succeed have that passion… and that belief… because if they don’t it becomes doubly hard.
I think sometimes if I had been able to sit down with Wes, he would still be here. I know how that sounds and I know that psychology behind it and that the guilt is not mine. But it is still there.
Nearly all of us have seen friends fail with their businesses and their goals. I know that what happened to Wes still motivates me.
IF you don’t have the same passion and drive… you need it because without it… things become REALLY difficult. We NEED to love what we do and believe in it. Because without it… it isn’t worth it.
If you don’t have the excitement and the love for your work … and if your business is NOT something that you believe it…
Re-assess where you are… and where you’re going.
It’s that important.
Thanks for reading.