I wrote this for everyone who—like me this past week—wants to throw in the towel.
WP Engine acquired StudioPress in the Summer of 2018. You might expect that this was hard for me to consider, but all signs pointed in the direction of selling. Well, all but one of them did.
And that one was fear.
I feared the unknown and what would happen next. There was this phrase, “once lucky, twice good,” that continually ran through my mind, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to let go and move on. Those thoughts nearly derailed the acquisition.
They didn’t, however, and the rest is now history.
This past week, I watched a Hulu documentary called Kid 90. Honestly, that would be an understatement because I have actually watched it five times so far.
Using hundreds of hours of footage captured by Soleil Moon Frye, Kid 90 is a homage to Generation X—an intimate look at what life was like for a teenager, like me, growing up in the 90s. It felt like our collective diary was being opened.
While I genuinely enjoyed the walk down memory lane, there was a segment midway through that unexpectedly triggered me. It sent me into a tailspin and brought me to the lowest point I have been in more than a decade. As I said, it’s been a rough week.
I cannot believe that I am saying this, but in the documentary, it was David Arquette who spoke three words that brought some much-needed perspective and changed the trajectory in which I was heading: “It gets better,” he says.
Which, thankfully for me, it has.
. . .
This morning I set out for a ten-mile run. It was sunny and 35, and there was little wind. The conditions were ideal, and I hoped the run would clear my mind and provide some much-needed positive energy. It did not disappoint.
I choose a playlist that includes songs from some of the best rock bands ever: Van Halen, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, and Mötley Crüe.
Mixed in are several songs from the Rocky IV soundtrack. One of them is “No Easy Way Out,” which was the first one that came up when I hit shuffle—something I don’t think was by accident.
Immediately, I was brought back to the scene in the movie where Rocky was training in Russia—the one where he axed wood, lifted boulders, ran through the snow, and literally climbed a mountain.
As I was running, I recalled many situations when this song inspired me to keep going—even amidst all of the adversity. Then came the chorus: “There’s no easy way out, there’s no shortcut home.”
And it hit me, clear as the words that Robert Tepper was singing into my ear: There’s no easy way out, there’s no shortcut home.
Life isn’t easy. Starting a business isn’t easy either. Especially after doing it before, successfully. But deep down, I know that life isn’t supposed to be easy. I know that starting a business isn’t either.
This past week, unfortunately, felt otherwise.
They say, however, the journey is the reward. And they are not wrong. No matter how many times I forget and how often it happens, I always come back to this fundamental truth which is something I believe. I encourage you to do the same.
As you start your week—one that no doubt will be filled with uncertainties and things beyond your control—remember this:
Champions aren’t born. We are made.