Today in Utah many are celebrating the state holiday of Pioneer Day. This holiday celebrates the legacy of the early pioneers that trekked to Utah from the east to establish this community. For those without strong ties to pioneer heritage or the predominant religion associated with the settlers of the state of Utah, we often refer to today as Pie and Beer day. Either way, there are some parallels to draw between the Utah pioneer’s journey and entrepreneurship. Here are three essential lessons to be learned:
1. Hard Work
Nothing worth building is accomplished without hard work. In the 1800s, Utah pioneers were leaving the east to trek across the plains to Utah; they did so without many of the modern conveniences that we now enjoy. There were no planes, trains, or automobiles that they could take. Many walked over 1,000 miles pulling handcarts while others were fortunate to have ox-driven wagons. Crossing the plains was a difficult task for even the most athletic or fit.
Similarly, entrepreneurship is a steep road with many bumps along the way. Entrepreneurship is not a path for those who wish to put in minimal effort and hours; instead, it is a commitment of extra effort and many hours. The consequence for lack of hard work for the pioneers was often death; the same holds true for your business. Without hard work, your business will die.
Along with the hard physical work put in by the pioneers, a key component to their success was their determination to succeed. While hard work is the physical effort and toll required, commitment is the ability to overcome mental roadblocks and challenges. Determination is the power needed to succeed.
The pioneers relied on determination to overcome the mental and emotional toll of traveling through hostile areas with limited protection, food, and shelter. In business, you will also have limited resources to manage in terms of capital, human resources, raw materials, and more. Logistics in business have become incredibly complicated; without the determination to succeed, many start-ups succumb to the pressure and fail. As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to work hard, but you must also have the determination to succeed.
While crossing the plains, the pioneers understood the challenges they would face, for the most part. All difficulties, however, could not be predicted and often time the pioneers faced problems for which they were not prepared. While some turned back or gave up the journey, those that persevered are the ones that made it to Utah and aided in establishing a community that today serves as a major hub for technological advancement and innovation.
Perseverance is persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. As an entrepreneur, no matter how hard you work or your determination to succeed, you will fail at times. There will be difficult challenges that delay success or make it seem impossible. To succeed in the long run, you must persistently tackle these challenges to keep moving forward as you seek to attain the vision of your company.
So whether today is about the pioneers or pie and beer for you, success in entrepreneurship comes through hard work, determination, and perseverance. When your journey hits rough terrain or encounters a detour, keep your eyes focused on your goals. Keep moving forward.