Success Requires Time

No matter how carefully you select and mix the ingredients, you can’t just toss it all in the oven and expect to enjoy a delicious dinner inside of a few minutes. It’s going to take some time for things to get to the point where they’re going to provide you with an enjoyable meal.


It never ceases to amaze me how many folks build a custom rod or two and then decide to hang out a shingle and make a fortune in the custom rod building business.  Of course, it doesn’t work that way. Even if you were the best custom rod builder in the world, which isn’t likely if you’re just starting out, it’s still going to take a lot of work and time to establish the kind of brand image required to convince the world to beat a path to your door. In most cases we’re not talking weeks or months, we’re talking years.


A perfect example is the International Custom Rod Building Exposition. The first 3 or 4 years were difficult. It was like pulling teeth trying to convince companies in the industry that this event would be good for their businesses. Few believed that a large scale rod building show could possibly succeed. Others had ventured to what constituted large rod building shows of the time period and not found the business they had been promised. I was fighting an uphill battle.


Fast forward to the upcoming 2012 edition of this event. Right now we’re looking at the largest assembly of rod building manufacturers and distributors in Expo history.  Other than mailing out contracts to companies that had been here in 2011, I didn’t solicit a single one!  I did not make a single phone call to any person or company asking them to purchase booth space. I did not send a single email to any person or company suggesting that they should be here. Every single company on the current exhibitor list contacted me – by now they know of the Expo’s successful track record and want to be here. Nobody had to twist their arm, lest of all me.


The moral of the story isn’t that you should rest on your laurels. Quite the contrary – you need to keep working because the instant you stop somebody will be gaining on you. But my point is that success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s usually a long, hard slog, but given enough time it will come.  Rod builders who don’t attract a large following right off the bat need to be patient, continue working and doing all the right things. Success can be had, just not in an instant.


Tom Kirkman