Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s a simple fact. Even if you have a partner in your project (and you kinda have to, to stay sane) it’s still very lonely. Everyone you talk to tends to make you doubt yourself, everyone seems to have heard of something kinda like yours, or questions an aspect of you b-plan, or wonders about the real market size, or your suitability to do what you are doing. An if no one does, you do yourself as you lay in bed at night, staring at the ceiling (or the bureau in my case.. I have to sleep on my side now.)
So let me tell a little story. A friend of mine who is an engineer build a little engineering widget he really needed for himself, and then he build a little company around this widget. He knew the world need these widgets because he sure needed these widgets. And he was right, and sold the little company to a big company for real money and then bought, among other things, a house and a series of race cars.
At the end of his indentured servitude (when you get bought, the big company also buys you for a period of time, sometimes as short as a year, sometimes as long as five) he decided he wanted to do it again. But this time he wanted to build a big company,a consumer facing company. So he looked at the hot spaces, and choose one. He then figured out what he wanted to build in this red-hot space and started shopping the idea around to VC. VC was lukewarm, because that’s what they do. They always doubt you at first (and sometimes always). And he kinda floundered. He lost interest. He still wanted to build his own company because he likes being his own boss, but he wasn’t so sure he was building the right company. So he kinda put off reworking his dog ‘n pony, and kinda spent his time puttering around when he should be working on the prototype. And things didn’t really move forward.
My point is, he never believed in the idea for himself. He intellectually thought he had a very good idea, but his soul never latched on.
Now I can feel it personally… if you don’t in your own heart feel like the idea you are laboring on is valuable to you personally, alights on your own interests and desires, it doesn’t matter how much money you think you can make, and how good an idea you think you have. You have to feel more than that, you have to ache to bring your idea into the world no matter what. And that faith allows you to roll over to your other side and fall asleep peaceably.