ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, STARTUP!
The other day I had one of those days where absolutely nothing was going right. You’ve had those days! The first thing you step on when getting out of bed is a Lego. Then after you get your last clean shirt ironed, you drool toothpaste on it. You finally get the button sewed back on your pants only to find the mate to your sock in the couch cushion. Oh hey! All those hurdles and you still have 30 minutes to finish getting ready! Or do you? Of course not! You KNEW there was something you were supposed to do last night you forgot to set the clocks forward and now you’re a half-hour late heading out the door. But hey, at least your coffee tastes great; if only your lap had taste-buds!
Some people call that a bad day (or morning rather), but I call it Day 1 of forming my first startup! I suppose if you look at a roller coaster with all its twists and turns and ups and downs and thrills and frights, that would be a pretty good picture of what it is like to have your own startup.
There are a few types of people who stand at the edge of the pool, looking out at the waters of hopes and dreams.
There is the type that dips there toe in to test the water and stares into it making sure there are no immediate signs of danger lurking beneath the surface. Those types of people are more apprehensive out getting in and having fun, because they realize that there are potential risks to being in those waters. So they take their time. They plan. They try to figure out the best way to get in the water with the least amount of damage to themselves. The problem with those types of people is that they find there are always reasons NOT to get in, and even if they do, they head back out as soon as something looks like it might be going wrong. We’ll come back to them later.
The next type of person uses the stairs at the edge of the pool to systematically get in the water. Sure it is a little bit uncomfortable adjusting to the temperature at first, but once they are in, they swim around and have fun! They don’t worry about anyone else or what they are doing because they came with a purpose and plan on making the most of it. The only problem they face is that initial acclimation to the temperature of the water; but, once they get in they are good to go!
The other type of person (which I’m pretty sure, after some painful self-analysis, I am) is the one that runs and jumps out into the middle of water, making a huge splash and smashing their feet on the bottom of the pool. No adjusting. No acclimating. No safety of the ladder. Just out there in the middle of it. It’s a rush at first, but so much wasn’t considered before going in, that I could find myself in some real trouble if I am not careful. What if I can’t swim? What if I have get a cramp in my leg and can’t keep my head above water? I’ll most likely either drown or have to get out of the pool to recuperate before I can get back in. I’ve also most likely been disoriented and when I come up for air (provided I can find which way is up) I’ll have to look around and get my bearings.
In case you didn’t put this together, I’m comparing a swimming pool to a startup. I’m sure you got that though.
So which kind of swimmer (right? Get it?) are you? Do you timidly check out the industry and plan every little detail of what your startup will look like before you leap in to making it happen? If so, ask yourself what opportunities are you missing? If you take too long to get in, you might miss your opening!
Or are you the type to just walk right into it? You see what you want and don’t mind a little discomfort when you first get in! You know what you need to do and what you have to do to get it. That is the kind of business owner I WISH I was. I think a lot less can go wrong if you take everything in stride with a clear and direct path that you want to go.
Sadly, as I mentioned before, I’m the act now, figure it out later cannonball that comes up out of the water screaming, ìWoo-hoo! Now what?î Luckily for me I have pretty great endurance and can tread water with the best of them. My startup that I started working on 2014 is doing well. It’s very exciting for me and a lot of fun. Plus, I got a new business partner which brings some help in letting me know which way the surface is! I also launched another startup the beginning of this year! I’m still acclimating to the temperature change and looking for the surface on that one but I can see the sun shining and know that I am heading the right direction!
There is one type of person I didn’t mention before. Sun-bathers. Those are the people that come to the pool not to get in, but to stay around the people that are getting in. They are content do the same thing every time lay down and do nothing! All they are going to be at the end of the day is hot and cranky because they are missing out on all the hopes and dreams that await them if they would just go for it.
That’s the take away right there. Whether you ease, stride, or cannonball, get yourself into the pool! Don’t be the person that doesn’t go after your dreams. Get ready to get wet and have a good time doing so! Hopefully we’ll see you floating the water with us soon!