I went to the SOPA/PIPA protest in San Francisco yesterday and thought this video was worthy of posting. MC Hammer made a surprise appearance and talked about how artists’ creativity may be at stake if SOPA is passed. Interesting view.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Goethe
Taking a bike ride whenever you want. Creating your own schedule on Google calendar. Coffee meetings at Cafe Your Fav. Heck, you’re probably doing work at Cafe Your Fav. Teaming with your ambitious friends from college. Working by your local beach, lake, bay, or other body of water. Changing your financial, spiritual, mental, and physical life. Building an empire you can call your own. Changing the lives of your family, neighbors, and many strangers. Saving the world as we know it.
Oh, the sweet sweet pleasures of running a startup. Freedom. Yes, remember that! These are the reasons you dreamed of entering the life of an entrepreneur.
And yet, sometimes these pleasures are not enough. Eventually you begin to take your startup company freedom for granted. You want a Cannondale’s Synapse Carbon 3 bike. The chairs of Cafe Your Fav get awkwardly uncomfortable after a short 2 hours and 37 minutes. The Berkeley marina is still unsurprisingly navy blue around sunset.
As humans, we have an even greater internal drive that is helpful especially in entrepreneurship–pain. Or rather, avoiding pain.
A guaranteed traffic-filled daily work commute. Fifty to sixty plus hour work weeks. Lost family dinner times. Someone else telling you what to do who doesn’t understand your true strengths or potential. Working lunches. Working dinners. Staff meetings. Staff meetings. Staff meetings. Absolute slow and agonizing boredom. The lack of challenge. Slow life. No life. Slow progress. No progress. Dissatisfaction. Not starting a company.
When your startup juice is low, use dissatisfaction to your advantage. Feel the pain. What would happen if you didn’t stay committed to building a startup? Startup it.
Neat presentation done by Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz a couple days ago. Slides are here if you’re not into videos. The presentation was a slap on the wrist if you’ve been ignoring search engine results and social media. Take home message: Build something people want…to link to.
People aren’t nice. It goes along with life not being fair. If life’s not fair, then why do people need to be nice? See? Here are 7 ways you can take criticism. Constructive and destructive. Naughty or nice.
1- Stay cool. Being a cool cat will train you to be just that, a cool cat. Keep that emotion steady.
2- Ask for specifics. Sometimes people do not realize they’re being unhelpful. Help them help you. Ask for specifics to their (and your) problem.
3- Stay positive. Criticisms are opportunities to improve your [insert something you do or make] or build your character. Remember, if it doesn’t kill you, it builds character.
4- Be thankful. Thanksgiving wasn’t that long ago! You’re used to this. A sincere thanks will go far in terms of respect.
5- Change something. You received criticism for a reason. Do something. Of course, you do not need to take action on every critique. Just the ones that actually help.
6- Listen to Journey. It’s important to never lose sight of your vision. Don’t stop believing.
The death of a startup is usually due to two reasons: (1) You ran out money. (2) You ran out time because you ran out of money.
Cash is the life and blood flow of the startup. So how do you keep that precious blood flowing? Sometimes, you have to go back to your grade school roots and bring out that PEANUT BUTTER JELLY! Bootstrapping must become your way of life. Instead of eating the honey-soy broiled salmon, try a burrito bowl. Instead of a finding your own corner office space on the 10th floor, try a shared space on 3rd floor or work from home. Instead of taking the BART, try casual carpooling. Adjusting the rate in which you burn your startup’s life source will tell you how long you have left to achieve your goals.Then when your startup accelerates, you already will have been trained in the art of bootstrapping for a healthy growing startup.