Elephants are the largest living and biggest brained land animals in the world. The gestation period of a baby elephant is almost 2 years. Yes, it takes around 645 days of growing and nurturing these babies before giving birth.
Long gestation periods are common amongst highly intelligent animals, but can you imagine being pregnant for 2 years, this is more than double the time of a human pregnancy and the longest gestation period of all mammals.
I daily meet with highly intelligent innovators, brave enough to execute their ideas in their start up.Daily wrestling with funders, developers or the marketplace. Hence, it can be disheartening when you sow and sow and sow and don't see much fruit, but this long preparation period is because you are birthing something that is huge, a force that could disrupt your industry.
I want to reaffirm that investing all this energy, time and money into creating your business will never be a waste. Your baby elephant has the potential to make a global difference and gamechangers always have a much longer gestation period in preparation for what is to come.
Debunking the myths?
Now let's debunk some myths about this preparation.
If your start-up is preparing to launch a new innovation that will disrupt your industry, change the way health is delivered or improve outcomes for patients. What feels like possibly your biggest rejection or failure is actually preparing you to give birth to something extraordinary, a baby elephant!
If your baby feels long overdue, perhaps that is because you are being prepared for something far greater. Try to adjust your expectations to reduce the pressure on yourself. Heartache and struggles are a sign of what could be one of your greatest victories and it is probably taking twice as long because this is where you are in the business cycle right now and there is a lot of developing to do.
The myth that 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first year is daunting and potentially shapes our expectations. In fact, when you look at the business survival rates in the UK. Healthcare and education have the most stable 5-year trajectories, with almost half business startups still in business at the end of year 5.
Don’t get me wrong starting a business is no walk in the park. Keep preparing to give birth to something BIG! Your expectation of success or failure should not only be defined by making the most money or if your business will make it, but also in the preparation.
How to define true success?
In business, you always have to overcome challenges. At different stages of the business lifecycle you must define your own success and not be governed by these myths or other people's opinions of you.
Perhaps, it is time to shift your focus, to debunk those myths and focus back on your own gestation, at what you are being prepared to do. Not making unhealthy comparisons, but defining your own success, based on where you are in your business.
Finding your true authenticity, not comparing to how others perceive you, but connecting with your power at a deeper level, where you receive from others. There is power in authenticity because it is here you redefine success, true success, allowing you to prepare to give birth to your baby elephant.
Next time you are feeling bemused. Remember this is preparation. You are a gamechanger and you have the potential inside to make a global difference.