I look around my office (part of my dining room) and take it in. A higher profile man might be disheartened by what he sees. Checks, papers and a hand written name card adorn the desk. But not me, this room speaks to me. It feels me with optimism. I am a serial entrepreneur and this is my kingdom. You see disheveled paperwork. I see the foundation of dreams. Every time I pay my contractors and the check doesn’t bounce I draw another sliver of hope. The months when everything is down and the end is near but we pull off in the end is what I live for. There isn’t 7 digits in our business account, I would settle for 5 most days. But I am free to be my own boss. When the game is on the line, I get the ball. I am the MVP, Coach, Mascot, Worst Player, Captain, Cheerleader, and Founder. That’s what I like, the opportunity to fail or succeed on my own terms and by my own hand. So what qualifies me? I have started companies (3 so far) and I failed miserably at one of them (never start a clothing line) and am currently enjoying a modest amount of success on my web project. I ran a successful tradeshow-consulting business before my failed clothing line. I don’t get awards for what I do. I see the reward in my business partner’s face when we make it another month. I see it in the crowds when I am asked to speak about my experience. The pride in my parents face when we say we aren’t in debt anymore. The feeling of satisfaction when the bills are paid. Those are my trophies and awards. The empty energy drink cans are the homage to the fruits of my labor.
My current business NiiTES.COM, now has over 1,000,000 requests for photos monthly and thousands of visitors monthly. We did that with $1,000 dollars of startup money. We employ several contractors monthly and have no debt. We made every dollar work 100 times harder. You must learn as a entrepreneur to make every dollar work like it’s a $100 or a $1,000. You can’t complain about not having enough money. Go ahead do a survey of founders or owners. Not one ever has enough money. You aren’t a business if you are plush. Especially in this economy. Conglomerates have enough money and they are trying harder to make their money work especially now. There is a reason many of the well funded dot coms failed. They spend too much money and don’t know how to make it work. They spent themselves into failure. Make your money work for you, don’t just spend it. I can’t think of a single business that went comfortably through the growth stages into a wild success. That just doesn’t happen. Get used to being broke. And learn how to excel in dire financial situations. Be thrifty, be creative. Don’t let it get you down.
There is something exhilarating about overcoming the odds. Being creative and hard working enough to turn lemons into lemonade. It isn’t easy. You have to be almost overly optimistic. But you can do it. You have to thrive off being closet to failure and revel in struggle. You gotta be ready for 100+ hr weeks and a lack of sleep no RedBull can fix. If this speaks to you and trust me that means your a little crazy, starting a business might be a good idea. Honestly you will probably fail, but if you are really a startup junkie that is more of a dare that you’d love to prove wrong. If my statement about your probable failure hits you close to home than you don’t have what it takes anyway. I am going to look back around my kingdom and get back to work because I never have enough done to take a break. If you plan on joining me I raise my energy drink in a sincere salute. Welcome to your kingdom, startup junkie.