Your First Year (Doing Anything) Is The Hardest

Nicolas Cole Instagram

My first year of high school sucked.

I didn’t have a group of friends. I sat by myself every day at the one lunch tables nobody else sat at. And I didn’t talk to anyone during or between classes, spending every Friday alone in my bedroom eating takeout Chinese food and playing World of Warcraft.

My first year playing hockey as a kid also sucked.

I had a hard time learning how to skate. I kept falling on my face, and asked my dad repeatedly if I could quit (he said no, and I went on to play hockey for almost 15 years).

My first year playing classical piano sucked — my left hand and right hand couldn’t get along. My first year of college sucked — I had a very toxic relationship with my parents and all I did was smoke weed. My first year of being in the working world sucked — my girlfriend and I had just broken up, I was making minimum wage, and my apartment didn’t have heat or AC and my bed was a $100 air mattress from Target.

Your first year doing anything is the hardest.

I can’t think of a single chapter of my life where the first year, the first quarter, the first few months, the first step wasn’t difficult. Even when I started my first company at 26 years old, our first few months were tough. My co-founder would come visit me in Chicago and sleep on the floor of my studio apartment (I didn’t own a couch). And for the first two months, we kept getting clients who verbally said, “I’m in,” only to ghost us after receiving the proposal and first invoice.

The first step was hard.

But 10 months later, we were doing $500,000 in annual revenue. And 8 months after that, we were well over a million.

If you want to be successful at anything, your #1 job is to just get through that first year.

It sucks for everyone.

But it gets easier from there.

This is an Atomic Essay from the Ship 30 for 30 daily writing challenge.

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