Why running a startup hurts so good ...
Today I am tired. The kind of tired that burns your eyes, and fills your vision with a soft haze.
I am writing this because out there some other entrepreneur is tired too. That person may come across this post and see that they aren’t alone.
What is an entrepreuner? Well if you read any of the hundreds of blogs related to the topic it is someone whom lives in the valley or some other area where VCs give out cash and dudes are eating ramen, working 23 hour days, and creating the “next big thing.”
The reality is an entrepreneur is any person whom had courage as big as their dreams to create a business of their own. That means your local pizza restaurant owner, the pool guy, that kid mowing your lawn this summer for $15, and the next crop of venture funded hipster coffee addicts.
Here is something you won’t read in one of those blogs, running a startup hurts. The kind of bone crunching, skin tearing, chest pressing pain few people will ever feel.
Think about the concept:
1) You turn your ideas and dreams into a living breathing entity
2) This little baby needs food to grow, capital. Everywhere you turn to get this capital you are told that your baby is less than attractive.
3) So you take capital where you can, you scrape, and you move along the business plan you have created towards the promised land. But what no one tells you is that the finish line is mobile in this game, everyday it will move, sometimes closer, but most likely farther, or a little to the left.
Unfortunately for some of our families we were bitten with the entrepreneurial bug when we had other responsibilities. Eating ramen and working 23 hours a day isn’t exactly an option for someone like me, because I have 3 young boys I am looking to grow into men, and a beautiful wife whom didn’t exactly sign up for this.
My startup has a team of 50 people. It puts it in a weird category. We aren’t big and we aren’t small. We are a wild teenager that needs all the newest gadgets and a healthy allowance so that they don’t implode like a black hole. Every payroll run is marked on our calendar, and every major payment from a customer that comes in a day early is praised, and every major payment that comes in late is cursed.
And we do this all for the big payday right?
In fact if you are an entrepreneur just in it for the big payday, I am willing to throw cash down on your failure.
We are in this because we don’t know any other way. We are in this because of passion.
When I met my wife, I knew from day 1 I would marry her. This is the kind of passion I think few people ever realize in life, but it is something every real entrepreneur can identify with.
You love your idea.
You love your team, and what you have built.
You love the joy of every major win, and the pain of every major failure.
There isn’t a slot on your pay stub for love, but it is important to remember the benefit we get from loving what we do every day. We get to live our dreams. We get to help our teams realize theirs.
Today I am tired, but I know all of the energy has been exerted in an act of passion. The kind of passion people will talk about after I am gone, and that changes the people around me for the better.
So today it hurts, but it hurts so good.
Where are you at?