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the entrepreneurs journey teaser imageThere it is.

After grinding it out for years…

After hustling every minute of every day….

After putting 100% of everything you’ve got into your journey…

You see the top and it’s within reach. It’s been a long time coming.

You take a knee to pause and reflect…

When you began, the wins were easy: beginners luck is on the side of every person starting a new adventure. Everyone supports you. You feel invincible. Even the Gatekeepers tip their hats, opening the gate for you to walk through. Some of your peers, so inspired by your enthusiasm, follow right behind you…

But once outside the ramparts of Median City, the easy wins fade; trials and challenges take their place, testing your intellect, passion and resolve.

The shock to your system reverberates down to your soul.

You want to turn back and return to the safety of the ramparts and masses you left behind. Your peers do just that (and now they’re sitting at the town tavern regaling stories of stepping outside the walls and their adventures that ended before they wanted them to, but life is life and you have to do the reasonable thing, right?).

Your heart sinks. You see the reason in your peers’ choices to turn back…but the thought doesn’t comfort you; it boils you to the core. Your feet stayed frozen, planted to the ground, not wanting to concede an inch to fear, uncertainty, or failure.

There you are, all alone once more. Scary at first, but then…freeing. For some reason, a weight has been lifted, as if you were carrying their packs all along. No longer.

You set off on your own, your burden less heavy, your mind clearer with every step.

Days, weeks, months pass…

You keep marching.

You conquer the Army of Bad Habits, navigate your way through Conundrum Forest, dodge and weave your way through Hater Swamp, and muscle your way up the testing Cliffs of Insanity…

At the top, you look around; all the progress you’ve made? A drop in the bucket compared to what lays beyond.

You keep marching.

Every day you learn something new. Each day, you become better: your skills expand, your strength (emotional and physical) improves, and your instincts become more refined. You handle your sword and shield effortlessly, as if the heavy steal is made of feathers – as if these tools are a part of you now. When the path diverges in the woods or stops dead in its tracks, you don’t wait for inspiration – your gut tells you left or right and you go – no hesitation.

But there’s a hidden side-effect to improvement: every increase in strength, intellect, and resolve brings with it a new path, a new obstacle, a new challenge that would have forced you to turn back just weeks or months ago, but now it’s within your ability to conquer.

Your skills have improved, but so have the challenges.

And with each new lesson-learned comes a painful realization: how much you still don’t know. It’s as if for every step up the jagged, rocky slope of Tribulation Mountain, another mile of perilous journey appears before your eyes.

You keep marching.

*    *    *

What the REAL Entrepreneur’s Journey looks like (click to enlarge)

The Entrepreneurs Journey (what the real dip looks like)*    *    *

More than a few times you want to quit; to throw in the towel and head back. Yet with each renewal of commitment to stick it out no matter what, providence provides you what you need, whether a new friend who walks the path with you for a while, access to new tools and resources to help you along the way, or an easy win you didn’t expect (even the smallest win in times of desperation can change everything).

You keep marching.

Through the wastelands, deserts, and valleys, you keep marching.

After so many tests, so many obstacles, so many struggles, you’re within reach.

You rise and make your way to the top.

You grab your prize – the goal that was just an ephemeral vision so many years ago, but here it is, in your hands, made manifest. As you enjoy a few brief moments of unfiltered gratitude and pride, you look around. Behind you, on the horizon, you can see the silhouette of Median City on the water. It sure would be nice to go back now and share your stories with old friends…

But then you spot something on the horizon, opposite the way you came. A distant light that glimmers in the fading sunlight. The whisper of light vanishes as quickly as it came into view, but the vision…the vision sticks with you. You don’t know what it was, but your heart does.

You make your way down the mountain.

Do you turn back or keep moving forward?

That’s an easy one.

You answered that question a long time ago.

You keep marching.

* * *

Started, finished, and shipped on the coast of Hourcon, Chile.

Total writing time: [3:03]

Total drawing time: [3:16] (harder than it looks, I promise)

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