Are You Building a Business or a Toy?
When you hear someone discuss business, companies, startups…they never talk about actually working. It’s higher level, it’s ideas, it’s theories. It’s never the actual freaking work.
Why? Because there is a kind of dreaming in the startup world, and it’s seriously just that: dreaming. Everybody thinks you’re going to build something and good shit will happen, magically. Apple’s going to feature our app. Mashable is going to mention it. VaynerRSE is going to give us seed money.
Well guess what? That stuff doesn’t just happen. Hoping it will happen isn’t going to do anything. Chances are, you knew this deep down inside, but you needed to hear someone say it. Well, I’m saying it. Consider me your wakeup call.
If you’re building a new business, you need to be prepared for the long haul. It will take hours from sleep, TV marathons, and video games. It seems like everybody is training for a sprint, but guess what? They show up and it’s a marathon. Do not sit back and think something will happen. Take action. Make stuff happen. Train for a marathon, then run it.
We’ve been living in a fantasy land for startups the past five years, and it’s dangerous. There is a complete lack of awareness of what the overall narrative of commerce is. Things have been going very well, and a lot of amazing businesses have come of it, but I don’t want you guys to be unprepared. Not everything stays amazing forever. Economically, it will happen, like it always does. The people who are successful now can’t assume it will be the same in five years. Even if you hustle the hardest out of anyone you know now, who cares. It’s 2015. The question is, can you adapt in 2016? 2017? 2020? Are you prepared for that marathon?
I guess what I’m really saying is this: when that economic downturn comes, will you get a job?
Or will you build a real business?
When stuff gets bad, are you going to hustle through, or are you going to give up? You keep that business going through hard times, and you have just that. A business. Amazon. Ebay. The companies that won in 2001 and 2002 did that. It can happen. And I believe in you.
So what is it: business, or toy?
The thing is, that first option sounds a hell of a lot more interesting to me.
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