In this installment of Startup Diaries, Vytal founders Spencer Steinert and Jared Goering talk about the difficult but rewarding life of entrepreneurship. Check out previous diary entries to learn more about Spencer and Jared, their team and their vision to change the world.
PERSEVERANCE: A KEY INGREDIENT IN SUCCESS
Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.Elon Musk
This isn’t meant to be some lame inspirational post, but we believe perseverance is the main factor that separates people who make it in entrepreneurship and people who don’t. Entrepreneurship is often glamorized with stories of people starting businesses in garages and then becoming millionaires. While this happens, we often don't hear the stories of what happens between. We want to paint a realistic picture of life as an entrepreneur.
We have now been working on Vytal every single day for more than two years. We have faced more hurdles than we could've ever thought possible at the beginning. These two years have been a collection of breakthroughs and setbacks.
During the process of starting a business, you'll encounter moments that have you saying, "This is it. The mountain is too high to climb." But if we learned anything, it is that you can push through to get to the other side — there will be something there to inspire hope. Now, this is easier said than done. In the moment, all you can see is the mountain.
Over the past few years of working on Vytal, trends within the world and tech industry have changed fairly dramatically. In the tech world, a few months is a long time, so you can imagine how much the company has to evolve in the span of years. While this can be discouraging, it should be seen as positive because this evolution will almost always make your company — and product — stronger.
Vytal started out with the goal of making a general-purpose health monitor that could eventually integrate into hospitals. Since then, we have changed to focus on athletics and ultimately team sports — aiming to create a concussion management platform that also provides biometric monitoring for teams.
When we first started, not many people outside of our families and close supporters believed in us. We learned pretty quickly that entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. It wouldn't have been at all possible without the support of each other. We often get asked how we've managed to remain business partners and friends through everything, and the only answer is our vision. It's what has pulled us through all the bad times that come with the good. If you're serious about starting something or changing something, be prepared for the journey to pretty much cannibalize any and all relationships and friendships you have.
Entrepreneurship is hard, and perseverance is the only thing that makes it possible. It's not something that can be taught — it has to be learned by falling flat on your face over and over again and then getting up and having the will to try something new.
We don't want this to be negative — we love the entrepreneurial life. It's the most rewarding and challenging thing we could undertake, and we get the chance to do amazing things. But without perseverance and dedication to a grander vision, we wouldn't be where we are today — and we'd have no clue about tomorrow.