In between stepping out and achieving successful outcomes, people often experience phases of hard times. How they handle those moments of ‘dryness’ when desired success appears elusive ultimately determines whether or not they reach their desired destinations. One of such colourless phases is at the actual start of the journey to significance: the period of humble beginnings. It is important to realize that great enterprises hardly begin in great ways. Enterprises don’t necessarily begin great, enterprises become great. As Demosthenes, the ancient Greek philosopher puts it, “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” Greatness is a gradual attainment not a sudden arrival.
Many of the great enterprises celebrated today started under unenviable circumstances. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 from his dormitory at Harvard University. Google started in January 1996, not as a corporation but originally as a research project by the duo of Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were students at Stanford University. Michael Dell established PCs Limited aged 19 with a capital of just $1000 operating from his off campus hostel while a student. The company was later renamed Dell Inc, one of the world's most profitable PC manufacturer as of today. William Harry Gates III popularly known as Bill Gates dropped out of college at 19 to start Microsoft, now the world’s largest computer software company.
There is a human tendency to despise days of small beginnings. Days of humble beginnings are days when desired results are seemingly not forthcoming; dreams remain unfulfilled, efforts applied are neither acknowledged nor celebrated by others and people’s respect is not yet earned. Humble beginnings are characterized by discouragement, criticism, mockery, ridicule, mistakes, little and unenviable results. The period of humble beginnings holds no special attractions neither does it attract immediate recognition and accolades.
There is nothing wrong in starting small but there is everything wrong in not starting at all. A humble beginning is still a beginning and a lot better than not beginning at all. Someone once said, “Every beginner is a winner having won victory over inertia and fear of starting.” If you are not willing to begin in a small way, it simply shows you are not prepared to begin at all. The process of attaining significance entails starting in a small way and ending in a colourful destination. It is the persistent application of quality efforts and continuous delivery of results that make humble beginnings culminate in successful enterprises.
Appreciating humble beginnings entails recognizing that you where are now is not as important as where you are heading. Small beginnings do not translate to small endings; that your current circumstances and results are not colourful is by no means indicative that they will remain that way. Never judge where you are going by where you currently are. Do not be discouraged by it, doing that is nothing short of making a big mistake. Whatever you do, always remember that humble beginnings are normal beginnings. They are an important period offering unique opportunities to learn valuable lessons that will prove beneficial in the days and years to come in your undertaking.