Crossing Death Valley


About 15 years ago, when I traveled to Las Vegas, I passed by Death Valley, which is on the borders of California and Nevada. In the summer, the temperature goes up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). Salt covers the wide plains and lake in pure white, and most of the valley is lower than sea level, which also includes the lowest point of land on earth. There was no water or shade, it felt like being on another planet and it was nearly impossible to find life.

When starting a business, everyone goes through a difficult time. Many people compare this difficult time to Death Valley in Nevada. Each year, many people go into business, but unlike what they are anticipating, there are only a few who succeed in the end, and on average, it is difficult to raise funds and enter the market in the commercialization phase after the startup. In the end, success depends on how wisely you overcome this period. Of course, it is perfectly natural for many issues to arise when going into business, but if you are unable to overcome this period, you will not be able to see the seedlings, let alone reap the fruits.

I had a particularly difficult time about three years after I first started my business. The biggest problem was undoubtedly the money, and for the first two years, I was able to manage each time a crisis arose, but it came to the point where continued growth slowed down.  I was unable to make stable sales, and it was difficult to develop or market further. I had to pass the break-even point and start making a profit as soon as possible, but  I always seemed to be 2% short. Many times, I wavered between continuing or giving up and it was very difficult to cross this “Death Valley.” I compared the success stories of others to myself, reproaching myself hundreds of times, and I do not know how many times I regretted starting my business without sufficient funds and preparation.


Anyone who thinks of starting a business is looking through rose-colored glasses, anticipating a success story. However, once they encounter the world of entrepreneurship, they soon find that it is not that easy.  In particular, because I did not have enough preparation and was too inexperienced, even if my product was the best and most innovative.  It still took a long time to reach consumers and I was confronted by the lack of funds or sales to survive that time. In fact, it is said that 97% of startup founders are unable to overcome this period and give up. However, the interesting thing is that once you overcome and get through that time called “Death Valley,” the business will enter the takeoff stage. 

“There is no gathering the rose without being pricked by the thorns.”

Everyone falls at one point while doing business. However, you must decide to stay down or get back up and join the race again. Of course, it would be great to start your business once you are perfectly prepared, but if not, what you need now is to grasp reality, rather than stay in high expectations. As it is said, it is not strong that survive, but the ones who persevere and survive that are strong. Like this, the most important thing is to not give up in fear in Death Valley but to wisely overcome this trying period.


Without proper preparation and consistency, all the effort and credibility you have built up may tumble down in an instant. First, you must identify your marketing needs and make systematic preparations in order to overcome this difficult period as well as take off into the next stage.