Time under tension

There are 2 incredibly tough aspects of starting and running a business and they are both related to time under tension.

In my life I have not found anything more challenging or stressful than voluntarily starting a business. It is also the most rewarding — but that comes later and always seems to be fleeting before reality crashes in again.

To succeed here you need to build entrepreneurial muscle. This is not a natural act so when we start we are basically all flabby. An idea and a statement of intent does not mean you are in shape to handle the task ahead. Being an entrepreneur IS a muscle that builds over time under tension.

When you use that muscle for the first time and realize it is there, it becomes something you flex for a lifetime. Putting time under tension here is part of your long game. Baby fat be gone, you are learning how to build a business one ripped fibre at a time.

Once you are waist deep in the muck you will experience the other, more visceral, aspect of time under tension.

This is where the real development happens.

Weight lifters use the time under tension strategy to spark muscle growth by slowing down their lifts in order to keep their muscles under stress.

Entrepreneurs are subjected to time under tension as the business requirements grow and the pressure to succeed increases. We are always under a form of pressure regardless of the stage of company. It is a constant and, subjected to it long enough, that muscle grows allowing you to carry more without your legs buckling.

When you get right down to it, success or failure in startups, or entrepreneurship, or business building comes down to how long you are willing to stay under that tension.