This is an image of the road during the Big Sur Marathon in 2006. From this perspective, the road looks relatively flat. The Big Sur Marathon, however, is difficult as it is known for its many hills including Hurricane Point which is a 2 mile climb straight up. 26.2 miles is a long way, so to be successful in this race you have to look past the hill in front of you, knowing that it will soon be over, and you can enjoy the down hill reward and valley between the hills as you pace yourself for the next.
Building companies from start-up is similar in many ways. The road is never flat, but laden with a series of hills that when in front of you seem insurmountable. But as you conquer each hill your company builds strength, and the experience necessary to conquer the next. Perspective is the key. See the entire course, not just the hill in front of you and plan accordingly. Approach each hill up beat and with confidence knowing that you will make it and this hill is only a part of the bigger race. Come to think of it, life is the same way, isn't it?