Day 30: I’m scared…and that’s okay.

STATUS: Fucking OAuth.

MOOD:¬†I’m so close!

I’m scared of a bigger company (or person smarter than me) releasing my product faster than I can and taking the market with them.

I’m scared of encountering a huge show-stopper months into development.

I’m scared of never getting any funding. (I’m trying to get enough funding to focus on this full-time. I have an idea of the expenses involved for the business, but running/developing/networking it on top of a full-time job is starting to get difficult.)

I’m scared of being unable to convince people that working with me is worth their time.

I’m scared of failure and having to restart.

I’m scared of never seeing success.

I’m scared of giving up.

What’s different about these fears from, say, my fear of riding those 400-foot free-fall rides is that this is *good* fear. The fear doesn’t immobilize me. The fear ignites me.

I still feel¬†incredibly alive after a multi-hour coding session or coffee/pitch meeting. The implicit rejections I get (such as my landing page and social networks being mostly dormant, or that I’m still far away from an interactive demo of some kind) aren’t making me afraid of continuing; they make me think about how I can do better and push forward. Every line of code I write brings me closer to putting this out in the world, and that’s enough to silence my fears for a short while.

It has been said that there are few things in life that make a person more vulnerable than starting a business. To that, I say this: if this shit were easy, everyone would do it, and I’d still be chasing the hard stuff anyway. I’ll take a little bit of hard work for a lot of awesome later down the line over stability and safety any day of the week!

Day 30: I’m scared…and that’s okay.

Day 29: Morning work ain’t so bad after all!

Status: Implemented a better business finding algorithm and finally started work on one leg of the event discovery algorithm!!!!

Mood: I think I’m doing this startup thing wrong because I’m feeling amazing!


Now that I finally got my coffeemaker, I decided to give working in the mornings a try. (Ironically, I got the damn machine so that I could stop trolling for cafes at night.) I mostly avoided it to prevent myself from getting caught up and going to my full-time work super late, but I realized during my trip to Memphis this past weekend that:

(a) getting to bed at 5am isn’t a great strategy either, 

(b) doing things this way gives me two blocks of time to work on stuff, 

(c) I might be able to sleep at the same time as my girlfriend, which I have been missing, 

(d) I can use my morning commute to write higher-quality reflections on this blog instead of rushing them out at 4am, and

(e) I can use the mornings to spend time building product and the evenings to network and pitch it. 

The last bit is becoming increasingly important since I’ve been spending a lot of time pitching/networking and have been feeling like I haven’t spent enough time developing. Getting that time back will only help me release something faster.
Today was my first day on morning duty, and boy did it feel good. Despite having a three hour work window I felt much less rushed and much more clear-minded. This will help a lot now that I’m finally working on the real money-maker for thinglistr.

Speaking of money-maker, I am feeling REALLY good about finally having a plan for making money with it. While it still depends on a large and very-active user base, my primary strategy is a straightforward money-maker that, I feel, is cheaper and easier to use than most of the competition. I also have a few other avenues I can incorporate as well if that doesn’t pan out.

An acquaintance told me recently that running a business is much like playing chess: being ahead usually means being five steps ahead in one’s mind. When I started this journey a month ago, I didn’t have much more than an idea and “ads” as a revenue stream. Today, I have some code, lots of positive validation, a small social media presence and a very solid idea of how to move forward. Even though I don’t feel like I’m five steps ahead of the game yet, I feel like I’m in a very good place right now. That feeling feels good.

Day 29: Morning work ain’t so bad after all!