Love what you build - Because sometimes you will still hate it.
Lately I’ve thought a lot about being in the right mindset to start a new company. Today I’m going to reflect a little of what I’ve come to find about starting and building new companies.
The most interesting point that keeps coming to mind is inherently very simple.
Love what you build, because no matter what, sometimes you will still hate it.
As simple as that principle seems, so many entrepreneurs young and old completely disregard this notion.
There are people reading this post who are already about to hit the back button and go back to Hacker News or Twitter and find the next article because they disagree with the premise, but for those of you who stay I hope you can take some things away with you.
I’m not saying that no one person can become successful if they don’t love what they do, however I think its a hell of a lot harder if you’re just looking for an out from day one.
Steve Jobs loved Apple. For all his faults, that was one thing no one person would deny.
Mark Zuckerberg loves Facebook. He could have cashed out on multiple occasions early on, but instead he is still trying to put his dent in the universe.
There are also probably some great examples of people who loved what they did and moved on because of a pay day and chance at a better life for their families. I certainly cannot fault them for that.
But all too often when I talk to an entrepreneur it’s readily apparent to me that they’re not really that passionate about what they’re doing.
Not having passion for what you do is OK.
A lot of people don’t love what they do, but most of those people get up and go work a job just for the steady paycheck that rolls in on a regular basis.
When you give up a guarantee to go start something of your own it should not be about getting rich, because the numbers say you won’t.
This post is not all about loving what you do or being passionate about your product.
This post is about hating all of it.
You’re probably reading this and thinking something like:
“WTF Zach. Why would I start something if I’m going to hate it?”
But the reality is working for yourself, starting a company, being an entrepreneur or whatever you want to call this crazy itch you have; it’s hard and sometimes it fucking sucks.
Some times you are going to get out of bed and wish you hadn’t woke up and some times that is going to happen the day after what you thought was the best day of your life.
Staying on that kind of emotional roller coaster day in and day out is not easy to do at all, but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing and you believe in the cause, its a hell of a lot easier to hate it less.
But if you started working on this project because you were tired of clocking in at work every day and making someone else rich those tough times… those times are going to be a whole lot tougher.
You’re going to need someone to be in your corner cheerleading every step of the way, and to be frank, that just does not happen very often.
The next time you meet a founder that succeeded, don’t ask him what it was like to sell his company, or to ring the bell on IPO day. Ask him what it was like when he thought he failed.
Failures aren’t feel-good stories, but we could all learn from them.
Because even the most passionate person, who wholeheartedly believes in their mission, is going to wish they had chosen another path one day.
They’re going to wish they would’ve taken that job or worked on that other idea. They’re going to feel like this idea, this passion they’ve been chasing, is stupid and that they should just give up.
And the reality is a lot of them WILL give up. Sadly, those aren’t the stories we’ll hear about.
We’ll hear about the crazy ones, the ones who believed when noone else did, the ones who kept fighting when everyone else told them it was over.
They’re not always the ones that were passionate at the start, but I’ll be damned if you meet one at the end of it that is not.
Those are the ones we admire, the ones we try to mold ourselves after, but rarely are those the ones whose failures we’re remembering.
If there is one piece of advice I give to people who truly have a passion for what they’re doing it would be this:
Fail hard, but don’t fail fast. Quitters never win because winners never quit.
I’ll end this with a quote from one of my favorite entrepreneurs and one of the original “Crazy Ones”
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently – they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
- Steve Jobs
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