Just Because You Build it Doesn’t Mean They’ll Come

Have you ever seen the movie, Field of Dreams? For the most part I think it’s pretty good but there’s an iconic line in this movie that just frustrates the everlovin’ crap out of me.

If you build it, they will come.

Okay, I get it. It’s a movie about a guy building a baseball diamond. How these words are used in the movie has little to nothing to do with why it urks me so much.

Wanna know why it bothers me to an unhealthy level? I thought you did.

I have heard If you build it, they will come used so many times in the small business world. Can I just call malarkey on that?! I mean, what in the actual heck?! This is so far from the truth.

I have ‘built it’.

I have created events and launches.

I have made products for art shows and shown up expecting greatness to pour down from the Heavens (like, cue that bright, shining light) upon me because, welllll, I built it.

Now, they come. Right?

Wrong.

Small business takes a TON of work. Back breaking, mentally exhausting work. It isn’t something that happens overnight and it sure as heck isn’t something that receives immediate response every time just because you built it.

Want to know the truth about being an entrepreneur? What really happens when you own a small business?

Well for one, it’s HARD. You’re doing all the things. You can be everything from the person creating the products, to the one pricing and packaging them, to the one marketing and promoting them, then the one displaying them on the showroom floor AND the one running the shop that will interact with the customers and help them make their selections. You’ll also probably be the one running the register and cleaning up the place once the customers have all gone home for the day. Then there are events and meetings in your “free time” to continue to educate yourself in your field and grow your business.

Maybe it’s not like that for everyone but if you own your own small business some of the things I just mentioned are probably all too familiar.

Another fun thing to expect? When you’re an entrepreneur, it requires you to be on alllll the time. There’s no clocking in and clocking out. You’re running the show and if the opportunity presents itself or forces its way into your day, it’s go time.

A week ago, I competed in a pitch competition to raise funds for the storefront I am working towards opening. I signed up, received my confirmation email and began preparing a 3 minute speech that would talk about all the different aspects of my business and what it hopes to achieve.

Can I just say- I AM A TALKER. Shocker, I know. Do you know how incredibly hard it is to say all the things you need to say without leaving anything out AND doing it in only 3 minutes? Phew! It was rough, let me tell ya. With only a few minutes allotted to me, I knew I couldn’t start with, “I was born on a hot summer day in August….” so where in the world should I begin?! (I figured it out in case you’re wondering)

On the day of the event, I was too distracted to even be nervous.

I did all the wife and mom things. I worked a few hours at my part-time job because it’s kinda a requirement. Then I took care of any other day-to-day responsibilities that I needed to do before heading out an hour from home to present what I’d been preparing for.

At 4:00, I picked up my friend, Amanda. This girl is just simply the best. When she opens her coffee shop in Marengo, IN y’all are gonna hear about it from me so we can all meet for lattes and laughs. We spent the drive up practicing our pitches and just soaking up our time together. We don’t get to hang out very often so that was definitely a highlight of the night for me.

The event began and everyone took their turn at the front of the room sharing what they had worked so hard to perfect in the days leading up to this. My mind kept going into a place of, “just pretend that you’re back in your college public speaking class and there WILL be a grade for this.” Didn’t that class just make you so freakishly uncomfortable and sweat more than you thought possible in a semester?! Just me? Okay then…..

Fast forward to today when I opened my email to see these words:

Abby,

Thank you for competing in the region’s first annual pitch competition! You have been awarded second place……

Y’all. Let me tell you.

Build it.

It may not always go like you had planned.

BUT

if you show up, work hard and are kind to others, the DREAM can become a reality.

Those dang baseball players went and taught me a lesson as I typed. Well played, boys. Well played.

 

A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

                                                                                                                                 Colin Powell

 

Leave a Comment