Lots of witty answers to Mr. Wilson being asked if entrepreneurs are happier than others.
To that question I might have answered with the following: “We entrepreneurs are happier even while failing at our own cause than we will ever be succeeding for someone else’s.”
Doing this whole startup-by-night/weekends thing is so IMMENSELY satisfying. I seldom reflect on the amount of ground we’ve covered (yes, gratefully, it’s now “we”) and it’s impressive every time I take a moment to reflect on the progress. At the same time I’m totally stoked by the sheer cliff ahead… whether it’s raising capital (which seems constant) or pumping information into the team or listening to them explain a particular point of view or tackling a particularly thorny business issue or securing a new partner. I have learned more this time around than I ever did with my consultancy.
I will allow myself no inkling of failure. I’m so sold on our ability to create a compelling product a LOT of people are going to benefit from right out of the gate that failure just doesn’t occur to me. I’ve literally vested my retirement in this venture. I’m “all in”. I’ve convinced friends and family to ante up too. In the ‘Art of War’ Sun Tzu likens this to burning the bridges behind your advancing hordes. There’s no retreating home. It’s succeed or fail… spectacularly in either case. There is no other adventure in my life I would pour so much heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into.
I don’t fret about much (LIE!). But, I do worry sometimes my passion is bottled up and not projecting adequately. I wonder… Do people really “get” my passion and belief in this? I really badly want to be contagious, share the enthusiasm and catch others on fire. It’s turned into a cause or a crusade for me at this point. Not a Don Quixote type quest… more of a Larry Brilliant-type cause. I have found a purpose in this venture like none I’ve ever championed while employed by anyone before. In this, there’s something I badly want to see achieved. Ask me sometime?
So, are entrepreneurs happier? Go tell it to Mr. Wilson…