Are you in a Trough of Sorrow?

I am past the initial stages of work and development. I have enjoyed the excitement of the launch. Now that those happy feelings have left and I am sitting in the work. Doing the work and not always hitting the goals and deadlines that I have set up for myself. I am past the beginning. I am in the “Trough of Sorrow.”

The “Trough of Sorrow” was coined by YCombinator partner Paul Graham. Don’t worry, I only recently heard of it on this new PodCast called StartUP.  YCombinator is basically where tech companies go through a very accelerated growth process and then present their businesses to investors. The Trough is where many people find themselves after the excitement of launching their business. It’s not an immediate Trough one falls in. It typically happens after you have launched,  and you’re running–you may even have investors–but you’re not hitting your monetary goals you thought you would by now. You’re not reaping the fruits of your labor…yet….if ever…

I launched something recently. I am stoked about it! The road to getting there was lots of planning. But of course there was the excitement for the planning for what was to come. What could come. Then it launched. Lots of excitement around that. Still around that. Then…the thoughts of should I change this? Or, that doesn’t work over here if we change this over here. Why are we not getting clicks on this? People seem to be really interested in this part of the concept but that’s not the original goal. Do we change goals? Switch gears? Hold out and see if the wind changes? What to do? What to do? Oh my goodness what to do!?!?

Have you ever started something, put yourself out there in your work and then realized there’s still more to do. You’re up, you’re slightly running. Then there are the boomerang tasks. You know, those tasks that you thought you could cross of the list only to have them “boomerang” right back with something else to do so that you can cross it off the list!  There are updates, the tweaks the changes, the ideas that sounded great then in reality….

It can be daunting. You can start second guessing yourself.  Wondering if it would just be easier to quit all together.  Maybe it would be easier or better to just give up. But before you do that, or I do that we have to ask ourselves a few things first.  While we are here in this Trough-of-our-own-Goal-seeking’s making What do we do? How do we climb out? Here are some questions that if you ask yourself might help you find your way up and out of the trough and onto the road less traveled (the one where many Entreprenuers don’t always go).

Ask yourself:

1) What’s not working?

2) What do we need more of? Time? Money? Information? Help?

3) If we had more of ____ what would we, could we do with that?

4) Be ok with changing your timeline.

5) In life bad things happen.  Even though there is the bad times, good things can still happen. If things are not going the way you thought, its ok!

Those who start tech company’s might disagree that I am in the Trough, that they too have found or may still be in. Mainly, because I am not a tech start up; I am a Creative Entrepreneur. But, I think anyone can go through their own Trough time.

Also, being in this Trough and doing research about it I am here to share that this Trough is a positive sign. We can (and probably should) all go through this trough. It’s about what we learn about ourselves and our projects while we are there.  If you are a Entreprenuer, dreamer, doer;  know that being in the Trough is a sign that you have made it past the first stages. You are in a spot not many dreams or start up’s make it to. What will happen in the end? Who knows!  Only time will tell. Only you can decide how long you’ll last in the trough.

I am happy to share that while hearing others stories, on their journies, I felt better. I didn’t feel so alone. While I am on my own path. My own journey. My own baby company is in a stage that is past the beginning. We are on our way towards where we will be. What we will become.  (If you’re interested in checking it out click here.)

If you are in your trough, you are not alone. Become comfortable in the Trough and see what will come from it. Share your stories with us!


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4 thoughts on “Are you in a Trough of Sorrow?

  1. Pingback: 101 pieces of advice | Live ClareLesley

  2. Pingback: 2016 Goals update #2–Clare | Live ClareLesley

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