A while ago, I was having a long, candid conversation with a startupper who has very passionately bootstrapped a small and very unique business. The discussion veered to finances, being at crossroads, motivations, and passion.
“Thinking of it purely financially, and based on what’s visible right now, I could invest <amount X> into the business to grow it, or put it into equities, get at least the same return, and go fishing.”
Of course, the difference is that when you’re driven by the need to solve a problem or create something – it is fishing! It’s what you would rather do even if you had the money to burn on it and expect nothing in return. Entrepreneurship, at some level, is also a very expensive hobby.
It is why seriously passionate entrepreneurs seem to go on against seemingly impossible odds and conventional logic. It is why it seems worth it despite making no monetary and financial sense at all. It is why thoughts or talk of “opportunity cost” should trigger alarms in your own head about what you thought was passion but is most likely just a hot opportunity you were chasing.
It’s not logical at all.
In this context, here’s a couple of good reads from the past:
Pick your goal.
It needs to drive you. I mean, truly, persistently drive you. So much that rain or shine, you’re enthused enough by the possibility of that one moment and will take a lot of downside to get there.
A lot of people haven’t put in their 100% into it. They still want to save onto something for the swim back. They don’t know why they are running. They don’t know where they want to go. They are not trying because they don’t believe it is good enough to pursue. It’s like they are running for the cheer but what they don’t realise is that people actually cheer when you run passionately.
I didn’t burn out from the hours (the work was challenging), but after a while I knew my soul was no longer in it. I didn’t spring out of bed or have the same energy in the office, and I started walking to work instead of biking because I wanted more time alone. My resolve to go the extra mile for the customer was diminishing, and so was my zeal for the music industry in general.
After the novelty of entrepreneurial ‘firsts’ wore off, all I had left was that eroding resolve to fight.
Yes, this has been told – and read – often. By many who understand this much more, much better than us. But it’s something you understand one little bit at a time, and hopefully reiterating it will help.
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