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It’s a thrill striking out on your own, starting your own enterprise. When you start making sales or getting clients and building a sense of momentum, there’s nothing quite like it.

Then comes the slog.

Once things start taking off a phenomenon that Seth Godin calls ‘The Dip’ occurs. Things level off, or even slow down. The day-to-day running of your business becomes harder, less exciting and even tedious.

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I recall about this time last year, I was talking to a an ex-colleague, and now a fellow entrepreneur; an app developer. He and his partner had developed a successful app that made it to the top of the iTunes charts, but he was miserable.

Developing a successful app, along with lots of sales, comes all kinds of technical problems and headaches, not to mention the full gamut of customer care responsibilities. You don’t just launch it, watch the money roll in and take a nap.

‘Aren’t you tired?’ he asked me.

As a matter of fact, I was. I was tired of my aging open source shopping platform getting hacked, managing multiple online store platforms, comment spam, answering the same email over and over from freaked out brides-to-be who hadn’t read the FAQ email explaining to only use Adobe Reader to create their invitation templates.

A day job started to look like sweet relief. A respite from having to do everything myself. Ahh, to check in every morning, do what I’m told, check out and get a paycheck at the end of the month.

Fortunately a few months of freelancing cured me of that fantasy. I never want to work for anyone but myself. Ever.

The dip, the slog, the long valley are instructive and necessary parts of starting your own business. Sometimes you need to quit, but usually you just need to keep on pushing through, because somewhere past the dip, success lies waiting.

Images from sethgodin.com

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