This blog post is focusing my my Stresses, successes and Failures in the past year running several companies.
Last February, I made the commitment to quit my job at a pretty sweet media group in Orlando to chase my passion and follow my dreams. I kicked logic to the curb and took a leap of faith on myself. I have now been running my startups full-time for over a year. This post today will be to focus on my stresses, successes, and failures this past year and hopefully help some of you who are looking to make this same jump.
So let’s start with my stresses this past year. Money! Yes I need that to survive. A while back, I built myself a Udemy Course on Productivity. In there, I outlined a Financial Survivability calculator that I built. The idea behind this calculator is to predict how long you can survive with your current set of bills, your current income level and the amount of debt and assets you have. Usually this is a downward slope (hence “survivability”) because running your own companies is like a black hole that not only swallows your money but also your time and effort, leaving you with not a lot left for say, a part-time job. Now, don’t get me wrong. This stress about money comes and goes. You will have good months and bad months but the point of the startup-mentality is to push through, no matter how hard it gets. There’s always some level of success and accomplishment on the other side. Also, I couldn’t have done this without my wonderful wife. She’s been a huge support to me both, emotionally and physically. I’m not saying it can’t be done without a crutch because it definitely can but you need to make a plan before you leap. Let’s call that a leap of educated or well-informed faith. Just be smart about it.
So aside from money stress, there’s also daily annoyances that come up like when you have to fix something or someone is being unreliable. There’s a lot of that in the startup lifestyle. There’s family issues, emergencies, and just trivial stuff really. It’s important, however to keep your cool and keep pushing forward. Two of my cofounders and I came up with a mentality to help with this idea. It’s called “Tripping Forward” and I preach it to a lot of people because it works! The idea here is that you’re going to face obstacles and you’re going to mess up but you need to do that moving forward or else you will come to a halt. Stopping, or becoming stagnant is never any good because of Newton’s First Law of Motion, an object at rest stays at rest but an object in motion stays in motion unless acted on by an unbalanced force. You are that force and it’s your job to not halt your progress when you’re actually moving forward. Keep your chin up as they say.
My successes. Well I don’t think I predicted where I would be a year later accurately but I’m definitely farther in some aspects than I could have hoped. I’ve met some cool people primarily through Meetup, where you can meet up with local groups with like minds. Without diving in to heavily into each of the fields I’m in and what they were successful at this past year, I want to speak about something a little more important – Intrinsic successes. When you are in this startup world, glued to your work for 12 hours a day, your biggest ally is your motivation. Without it, you will get into a slump, be unfocused and not productive. Your job is to harness that motivation and generally it’s by finding internally what you feel you succeeded at. Just finished that email? Success. Just built your site? Success. Just contacted your first prospect? Success. These are the little things that add up to your big win and they are just as important as the big win to focus on. My biggest success this past year was realizing how to harness my focus, my positive mentality about my work, and to keep my drive at 110%.
My failures weren’t as subtle. Going into working from home meant that I had to be focused from the beginning going forward and I think in retrospect, I lacked that. I felt like this past year was like a Semi-truck going from a complete stop to 30 miles an hour. Now I’m at 30 mph but in the beginning I was just barely chugging along, getting used to the feeling, the constant juggling and re-prioritizing. I think it’s important to understand that even with 1 startup, there’s a ton of juggling that goes on. The key thing you shouldn’t lose focus on is your personal relationships. No matter what, do not let your husband, wife or significant other get the short end of the stick. They need to feel just as valued as the work that you’re pouring your heart into. This is one thing I feel I can constantly work to improve. I have to also mention that failures are vital to your progression. Don’t dwell on them, but do recognize them. They will help you to learn how to correct course and improve the next time around.
All in all, I am thankful to God for this past year. It has been enlightening, motivating and I see my mistakes and will 10X my hustling this next year forward. Thanks and God-speed to all of my readers! Please email me directly if you have any questions. If you want to set up a time to talk, you can schedule me here.
For those interested, my startups include: Cressio – my tech-based partnership, Invenst – a crowdfunding website that I’m quite proud of (still in development at the moment), The Joshua Wave – a charity focused on changing people’s mindset on what charities are all about. Currently our ventures are focused towards homelessness in the United States. Alongside running those companies full-time from the comfort of my home office, I do business, marketing and career consultation for anyone, Generally for free! In my free-time (yes, I do have that), I often freelance video and photography as well as web and graphic design.