Thank you Jeff, great advice as always. And man, I would love 15 minutes on the phone with Seth Godin. Well, actually — I’d love 15 minutes on the phone with you.
I think the term “start-up” needs to go away. It seems more like a flag to be waved for honor and recognition than a task to be completed to launch something meaningful or profitable. I hear or read stuff from far too many people who throw the term around like it makes them important.
Every new business is a start-up, whether it’s you and a keyboard or a board of directors and 100 employees. I don’t want to hear how you created a start-up, I want to hear how you created a self-sustaining business that you love.
Anyone can create a start-up, but can you create a start-up with a successful life-cycle and an end game that’s profitable, or a plan that at least makes you happy? There are hundreds of articles about or by the founders of start-up’s who always have some wondrous topic of wisdom to impart, but we rarely hear about them later to find out whether they tanked or became successful.
All of the glory and fireworks of a start-up do not necessarily lead to happiness, and success should be measured in nothing else. If you work yourself to death for a big paycheck and then go home to your fancy house and rail at your family every night because you’re exhausted and stressed — that’s not success. At least not my definition of success.
I am currently working toward a writing career so I can have the freedom to do what I love — which is to write. I have worked hard over the last year to learn how to get published, learn what direction to go, and what methods work best. I’m no stranger to hard work and have thrown everything I can at this so I can find the way forward.
But, I still want to love what I do in a year, or two, or longer. I don’t ever want to dread stepping in to my office; I do that now and it’s the primary factor behind the changes I’m making. I don’t want to create a start-up, I want to create a successful business that I love and that I want to grow into something special.
That’s my focus. Do I hope it will pay the bills? Absolutely. But I also hope it will make me happy. If I can get paid to do something I truly love, then I will consider myself a success.
Thanks again for your insight!