The first half of the 2016-year was great for my company, BAMM Communications, and me. But then, mid-year, everything came to a halt: I abruptly lost two of my largest contracts; soon afterward, I’d learned that some of the people I’d considered close, professional confidants had been secretly scheming against me; and the devil seemed to rear his ugly head in every direction I turned. To cap it off, I’d just been accepted into the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program – and, while being accepted was a huge accomplishment, it would now seem a nearly impossible program to complete, given the unexpected heavy weight of trials and tribulations on my shoulders.
I didn’t know where life was taking me. I thought I’d have to drop out of the labor-intensive Goldman Sachs program, and I often wondered if my business would survive. But for every cynical thought that crossed my mind, there was a drive inside that would not allow me to give up. I had to keep going. So, as difficult as it was, I continued with the program and continued to work around the clock to keep my company thriving. Little did I know, my commitment to weather the storm was the pre-requisite to my breakthrough, and the start of my company’s ascending growth.
The Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses program provides entrepreneurs an opportunity for greater access to education, financial capital, and business support services. The curriculum is provided by Babson College, the number one entrepreneurial institution in the country. During the program, my classmates and I were challenged to develop an opportunity that would enhance growth in our businesses, respectively. We were encouraged to dream big and then analyze our visions to ensure its profitability and success. At first, this task was a challenge for me. My company had just lost two major contracts and I didn’t know if my business would sustain, yet alone grow from the visions in my dream.
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This program was demanding, and it was causing me to take time away from working in my business. I would often wonder why I was taking time away from my deteriorating business to sit in a class and plan for greater success when, at that time, the business wasn’t showing signs of success at all. If I’d participated in the program earlier in the year when my company was thriving, the thought of a growth opportunity would be perfect; but not now, I would often think. I felt that I should’ve been focusing all of my efforts on obtaining new business to replace what I’d lost. But, contrary to my desires, I stayed the course and continued with the program; and I’m glad I did. What I would eventually realize was that my growth opportunity was what would allow my business to overcome the challenges it was facing.
In December 2016, I graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program, and my business was still alive and running. I’d come out of the program with a growth opportunity and a plan to effectively implement it, a greater skill-set for how to run my business, and a realization that the many hours away from my office forced me to learn how to “work on the business while letting my employees work in the business” (that phrase is one of the Goldman Sachs 10KSB mottos).
With all that I’d gone through last year, many would consider my 2016 a year of mayhem – but for me, it was a year of turn-around. Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, once said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” As I look back at 2016, I’ve realized that, with all of the trials, uncertainties, and attacks that came against me, God was preparing me for greater. He was pushing me to another level of thinking, ultimately becoming a greater entrepreneur. You see, God doesn’t do big things for small thinkers. The circumstances I experienced in 2016 forced me to think bigger, and the acceptance into the Goldman Sachs program, at that exact time, afforded me the skills and training needed to transform that “bigger thinking” into a reality.
I’ve learned that my company and I had to go through a season of detriment in 2016 for a breakthrough of betterment in 2017; for, one cannot build muscle without resistance. In just a matter of weeks, since the commencement of 2017, my business’ growth opportunity has begun to flourish. My company’s breakthrough is here…. and it’s only the beginning!
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