Being an entrepreneur is hard. It’s a simple fact. Even if you have a partner in your project […]

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.


Add Yours
  1. 2
    Chris Baum

    I say amen!

    You don’t need a huge market if you have 5 people working for you (ala 37signals). Your project seems the same way. Start with 2, become successful, have 4 people, or maybe 8. But you don’t need 3000. That’s what the VCs want. Over time, I have to believe it will change.

    I hope someday a large company will have 150 people. Or maybe I’m just wishing.

    All that comes with a payroll of 3,000, or 10,000, or 100,000 is bureaucracy. It’s unnecessary and mind-numbing. Some people like it because they don’t have to worry about their paycheck. But I would propose that they could be inspired if they had more ownership of their success, and they certainly would have more loyalty to themselves than companies show these days.

    Inspiration gives us life and helps us appreciate what we do and who we are.

    Keep it real, Christina, as you and select others are showing that if you keep things small and simple you can achieve much.

  2. 3
    manu sharma

    It’s like love.

    No matter how much a person might be right for you by _logic_…
    unless you feel it in your heart, feel passionately about it, it’s
    probably a wrong match.

  3. 4
    Manu Sharma

    > VC was lukewarm, because that’s what they do. They always doubt you at first (and sometimes always).

    Won’t it be interesting if the VCs are the ones made to pitch ideas to enrepreneurs?

    Here, go reject all of them!

  4. 5
    David Locke

    If you follow Moore’s technology adoption lifecylce, you need one client. Eventually, you will have worked through eight of these people. So you need eight people out of the millions that live in the U.S., or the million something that live in your major city. So, yeah, it will seem like nobody, but you believes in your idea.

    I have a founder. He started with a patented technology. He did some client engagements, but they have not gone vertical. We got to a point where there wasn’t enough differentiation in our offer, so I went away and created a technology and product plan. That was four and a half years ago. He doesn’t believe in the plan, so nothing happens. We talk, but I always put him back on the plan.

    Last week, I realized that I have to let him go with his off the plan stuff, so we actually make some money.

    Faith is the prime good.

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