Click to Print

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

When it seems as if your only option is to close up shop and get a "real job", here's how to persevere.
August 1, 2000

Investors haven't taken to your idea as quickly as you had hoped. You've drained your savings and are now maxing out your credit cards. Both your family and friends are advising you to "get real" or "be responsible" and find a job that pays the bills.

Wow! What seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago-that is, giving up your dream-appears to be the only rational option. Well, you're in good company. Understand that most successful entrepreneurs have endured dark days before achieving their goals. You, too, can achieve great things out of your struggles, no matter how bleak it all may seem.

Take, for example, Steve O'Neal, 35, the founder and CEO of ThinkLink Inc., a San Francisco communications application service provider that offers Internet-enabled integrated messaging (voice mail, fax and e-mail) to major Internet portals and wireless providers. Since starting ThinkLink in 1997, O'Neal has grown the company to sales of $5 million and now has 110 employees.

But success hasn't come easy for O'Neal. He recalls three "crisis points" he experienced that almost forced him to close shop:

What did O'Neal learn by persevering? He mentions four lessons-tips to guide you through any obstacle:

When you find yourself ready to bail on your business, remember O'Neal's experiences. If you really want your venture to get off the ground, know that you have the power within you to make it happen. Sure, you may need to change your business model significantly, like many others, but if you have the deep-down, burning desire to succeed, who or what can stop you?


Before you do anything drastic, read these encouraging, advice-filled books.

  • Mastering Your Moods (Fireside, $12, 800-223-2336) by Melvyn Kinder, Ph.D.
  • Plan B:How to Get Unstuck from Work, Family and Relationship Problems (Perigree, $14.95, 212-366-2000) by Stephanie M. Asker

Contact Source

ThinkLink Inc., (415)252-6200,