Pain in business is refinement to success
If you asked a successful person to tell you their story, often, the bulk of their conversation is the adversities they overcame to get where they are. They value the hard knocks as an essential part of their journey. And this is why: ideas are raw.
The rawness of ideas means that the realisation would require some pain. If in doubt, ask a gold bar. Pain is the refinement process for the success of ideas. Like raw gold, a fresh idea has to be refined to increase in value. Once gold is cleaned up, it’s ready for display in nice jewellery stores. But the initial state isn’t attractive enough for display.
Ideas are the same. Who you are when you conceived the idea isn’t who you have to be to birth it. There’s a gap and to bridge this gap requires pain – you will have to be stretched and inconvenienced.
In a conversation with a friend (an Italian businessman), I asked him about his business philosophy and he said “life is pain and pain is fun”. He went on to tell me about the thrill of pain. My friend argued that if he could teach someone to enjoy pain, he could help them succeed. In his mind, pain equals success. Interesting, I thought.
But I understand. I’m yet to meet a successful person who didn’t go through some inconvenience. Truth is: birthing an idea requires that we change. Furthermore, change is a demand for refinement. And pain is the tool. People succeed based on their comfort level with pain. In an interview, the billionaire CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, confessed: “I have a high tolerance for pain.” Those who spend their lives avoiding pain play it safe and nothing great is birthed in the comfort zone.
Athletes are pain experts. They expect, cherish and use it because they understand that their dream of gold is tied to the amount of mental and physical rigour that they can master. Instead of trying to avoid pain, I encourage you to use it. Pain is an effective tool.
How do you use pain? Have a growth plan. Venture outside your comfort zone. Plot to try and learn new things. Stage your own inconveniences. That way, you will stretch beyond your current capacity.
The road to greatness is paved with pain. As an entrepreneur, your attitude towards pain could be the difference between success and failure. I dare you to engage your pain and reap the benefits.