So as everyone has probably heard already, I recently lead the charge to launch a new startup called Printchomp. I started this back in April and needless to say it has been a whirlwind. I have had my share of highs and lows building something from nothing and it was nothing like I have ever done before. It drew a perfect parallel to another adventure I decided to undertake this week (this one purely by accident).
I was out for a simple 5km run 2 days after launch and I decided, what would happen if I just went a little bit further. That little bit further turned out to be 41km, just shy of a marathon distance run. I had never run this distance around the Bay before, but I had a voice in my head saying to me push a little further. My longest run for the year was 14km and mostly downhill so, was I skeptical if I was going to make it back. I guess that is the thing when you start a business or push outside of your comfort zone, you have to believe you are going to make it. The run to me became quickly a metaphor to starting a business. You have to be willing to put yourself in harms way, receive the slings an arrows of potentially failing to achieve your goals.
I became aware of on the run, no one was there to save me but myself. The success of your business rests on a the edge of a sword, and depending on what you are willing to put into it. You may just fail or you could succeed beyond your wildest dreams.
After getting to the finish line after a long run or a new launch, A new race begins. The voyage of turning an MVP into a service that the masses want to use. The brief glory, of getting to the finish line is quickly eclipsed by the reality that your race has only just begun.
In many ways the run was very cathartic for me. It gave me an opportunity to put things into perspective but also focus on the task at hand. It gave me an opportunity to look back on my failings and look for ways to improve and get better. Self reflection is a tricky thing, you have to pull away all of the noise and focus on the what is most important. Mind you on a 41km run you have a lot of time to think about a lot of things (Very Forrest Gump of me I know). I thought about previous jobs, people I have loved and lost, my family, my wife my child. At the end of the day, you make your own reality. This isn’t to say that you should pretend and live in a fake world. On the contrary, one has the ability to choose what you make of your life.
Whoever says they are a self-made are lying to themselves. People invest time, energy and faith in you everyday. You need to take pause and appreciate when they do so, because you are better for it. I am better for it.
To all of those that have put their faith in me to create something from nothing, I say this, will is a powerful thing. A person may have many talents, but if they don’t have will to use them, they are squandered. Creating a business is like any other form of self expression. When you paint a painting, sing a song, or act on stage, you put yourself out there to be judged by the masses. Lauded for your victories or mocked for your defeats. If this run taught me anything it is this, don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is then and only then you will find out what you are made of.