I’ve had quite the run of "Thought o’ the day" posts, so it’s obviously time for a new category of post.
May I present to you the shiny new "Inside My Twisted Startup Brain…" category. Yes, it’s just a subset of "Thought o’ the day" in disguise, but what do you want… we’re on a budget here 😉
Today’s topic: passion.
When I met Will Herman the other week, he mentioned Bijan Sabet’s blog. I’m already a convert and you’ll see it listed in my blogroll. Bijan is a VC with Spark Venture Capital in Boston and from his writing, he’s clearly a very interesting guy.
One of his most recent posts was about his daughter’s sixth birthday. He ends the post with a very astute comment "Parenthood can be exhausting at times. But tonight it’s pretty darn sweet."
At the risk of ruining a charming personal sentiment (which I totally agree with — my daughter just turned 2 and parenting is a challenging blast), I think this thought is highly applicable to startup life.
Any startup is a roller coaster. The good days are awesome. The bad can seem like bottomless pits with depths of sh*t beyond belief. But you fight through them both and move on to the next day.
What keeps you going is the entrepreneurial equivalent of caffeinated Prozac: passion. When you really believe in what you’re doing, it’s passion that tames the highs and gets you through the lows. It’s passion that keeps you up at 2am re-writing your business plan for the 35th time. And it’s passion that helps you get through tough personal decisions, like forgoing Christmas plans with family overseas because you’re not seeing a paycheck yet.
The picture below is one of my favorites and it captures the passion I have for being a Dad. It was taken back in February over in the UK (hence the "damn it’s cold" look). While being a Dad and building a company don’t compare directly, the passion I have for the business does have many similarities with my feelings about being a parent.
If you don’t have the proverbial fire in your belly about what you’re doing, don’t do it. Your idea will never survive the journey…