How to survive the Vortex of Destiny


Every entrepreneur goes through tough times.

Me too.

I used to call it the Vortex of Death until it occurred to me that the language didn’t inspire optimism, so I rebranded to Vortex of Destiny.

It all starts so excitingly! The dream is big, the energy is high, the people are with me, how can I fail when everything feels so right?

Then, boom!

One year later, no money, no prospects, no light at the end of the tunnel. You can hear a faint sucking noise and can picture the toilet being flushed and you going down with the rest of the…

Shit happens. As bright a vision as I had at the beginning of my journey, it couldn’t erase the hard reality of that moment when I paused to take stock and realized I was out-gunned, out-numbered and out-of-energy.

The first instinct is to blame someone, anyone. There must be someone I can deflect to and in some way limit the damage to my reputation! The second reaction was to start doubting my own ability. Am I good enough? The third knee-jerk is to panic. Fark! How do I get out this mess?

This is the real test.

Do you truly believe in what you’re doing? Do you feel it is a worthy dream? A dream worth risking your child’s education?

If the answer is no: Game over. Insert coin.

In my case, the answer was yes. I realized I had no choice; I had to make the magic happen.

So I counted my blessings, said some prayers, put on my game face and faked it till I made it.

Of course, it’s a lot easier when you have a partner. Being alone can be anti-depressant-addiction inducing. I had lots of partners. My wife. Frank. My family. My mates. My shareholders.

The more people swimming in your direction the more likely you are to reach the other side.

Every successful person in the world has a story. You see the good stuff, you don’t see the bad stuff. Do yourself a favour and read the biographies of people like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and Benjamin Franklin. Turns out their trajectories were not a straight line upwards. Most stories look like this:

Because it looks so easy from the outside you start feeling like the world is unfair.

The world is not unfair. It just is. The downs are inevitable, you need to suck it up and push through. Yes, its hard, but it’s a lot easier when you realize you’re not the first to hit a sticky patch.

If all else fails, remember this: When you find yourself going through hell, keep moving.


Also published on Medium.