A cheque for the hustle

First, it started with an idea in the head. You wrote it down and developed a documentation for it to ensure all the pieces fit together, at least on paper. Then, you started thinking of the best way to execute it nicely. Of course, to you and your team, it was the greatest idea in the region. There’s been nothing like it, at least in the market you’re targeting.

After some moons brainstorming, you hire some developers to start coding. After few months, the MVP is out (in fact, very close to the full product).

Now it’s time to market it. You headed to the airport and flew to the region where your product will be used to start encouraging user adoption. Boots on the ground. Your work begins the next day after a 48 hour flight to the region. You shake off the jet lag and headed for work immediately.

You had a strategybefore the flying down. You execute the strategy line after line. Each day leaves you completely exhausted. You move from city to city, state to state, hoping to get just one client to adopt this great product you’ve spent the last few months building. You prepare all kinds of proposals and burnt money sending them to potential clients/partners through FedEx and DHL, and expect to at least get the call back you deserve. Days, weeks, went by, no return calls.

None of the doors you’ve knocked got opened. No single customer adopted. It was all perpetual Nos or some fancy explanations  that literally means NO. Everyone that made you promises broke as many as they made.

After about 2 months, you had no choice than to fly back to your zone of residence due to an urgent assignment. On the plane, you flashed back, remembering all the trips you made and all the offices you entered, and all the rejections you faced. You seem to lose hope, but something inside gives you a reassurance. So, you made up your mind to keep fighting and pushing until something happens.

At this stage, everyone around you doesn’t seem to believe in the idea any more. That awkward moment when you meet a new person and introduce yourself as the co-founder of “X-Ltd.” and he asks you above your client base in the region, and you say zero. That awkward moment keeps coming up since you won’t stop attending conferences, networking sessions and the likes. It’s bitter and cuts off your ego completely.

Your product moves from one issue (technical issues) to another and you spend sleepless nights fixing them all. That still won’t change the fact that you have too little customers to boast of, neither does it make people believe in the idea or even you any longer.

Then, one beautiful afternoon, you check your mail and see a snapshot of seven figure cheque written in your name. You think it’s a dream until you see the transaction alert. Someone still believes in what you’re working on, and he won’t just say it with fancy words. He would write a six figure cheque to back up his words. Nothing can be more reassuring. Nothing makes you feel more committed.

You look at the cheque again, and see increased responsibility written over it all.

The days ahead will be exciting and more brutal, maybe, as we roll up our sleeves and get down to hustling it out.

Technopreneur. Chief Hustler at 1Plify. PhD scholar [Technology entrepreneurship]

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