As I watch recent videos of startup pitches and TechCrunch interviews and read stories about founders starting companies, I can’t help but think: “I can do that.”
No really, I can. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to watch and see, wont you.
Backing up, I am aware (or as aware as I can be) that starting a company is hard, pitching makes you nervous, and interviews don’t tell the whole story of hard work, long nights, failures, successes, and progress gained by tooth and nail. The point, though, is the same point made by my mission president in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission when he said: “Bigger duds than you have made it.”
And thats just it. There are TONS of founders out there who are smarter and more talented than me. But there are also TONS of founders out there who are not.
When that realization hits me, I can’t help but think that I’m a slacker. I need to step up and get things done. Sure, I’m freelancing full time, working on side projects, studying Objective-C, learning Italian, and trying to be a good husband. But even with all that, I still feel like I am a slacker. There are many founders out there with 2-3 times more stuff going on in their life than what I’ve got going on.
So whats keeping me? Whats holding me back? I’m not sure exactly. I think part of it is that I don’t have the skills to build the things I want to build…well, I could work hard at what I do and earn enough money to pay someone else to do it.
Part of it is that I don’t know where to start…well, I do know quite a bit of where to start actually, and the stuff that I don’t know I can learn from starting.
Part of it is that I don’t have a good idea…c’mon! I have several great ideas, and come up with new ones multiple times per week.
So what is my real excuse? I have no idea. I don’t think I have a very good one. That is why ever single day I think about this topic. That is why I’m freelancing instead of taking a full-time gig. That is why I’ll soon be taking a full-time gig at a startup company (to learn). That is why I’m studying Objective-C and have a goal of building a simple app by July. That is why I’m going to bed earlier, and trying to eat better, and teaching myself design, and writing this post. I’m working on it. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on it.
I’m coming to realize that I don’t have a good excuse, and that realization is keeping me motivated. There is no reason why I should not be a founder too. Well, I say that with hindsight. I would do things differently if I had the chance to. But I don’t. So I’ve got to make the best of what I’ve got and move forward. Run forward. Climb and fight and spit and crawl and struggle forward.