12:01 AM, and plenty left to accomplish.
I’m confident, but there’s always a shadow of doubt.
Can I pull this whole entrepreneur thing off? Heck, who knows? But I’m doing it, regardless.
You know, I used to look for guarantees. Guaranteed money. Guaranteed success. Guaranteed fulfillment. Guaranteed good life.
That’s not so much true anymore.
The only thing I try to guarantee is that I’ll work my face off.
Some don’t agree with my lifestyle.
“It’s so extreme,” they say. “You’re working too much,” they say. “You’re trying too hard,” they say.
Entrepreneurs wouldn’t get anywhere if they listened to everyone. So I usually smile and nod at whatever they say. Both you and I know well that few understand how we think. Sometimes it’s best to keep those thoughts to ourselves.
Trust me, sometimes even I don’t agree with my own lifestyle.
I’m wired this way. Like my father. We work. A lot. And we love it. And we hate it. And I think we both think we need it. Ultimately, I think we’re right. For now, at least, I think we’re right.
An old guy offered me some wisdom last week that went like this: “You know what you do when you stop working? You stop living. You know what happens when you stop living? You die.”
It will be interesting to learn if that’s true.
All of this is confusing for me.
Why am I wired like this? Should I be?
Do you ever ask yourself these questions?
Some see me as having things figured out. This has been true since I was a little kid. I’ve always known what I wanted to be when I grew up, but it always changed.
I wanted to be a lawyer when I was halfway through college. When I first started college, I wanted to be a General Manager of a Major League Baseball team. Before that, I wanted to be a baseball scout. During high school, I wanted to be a CEO who turned failing businesses into winning businesses.
In junior high, I wanted to own a theme park like Disney World. I also wanted to be a professional athlete.
In elementary school, I definitely wanted to be a doctor.
Shoot, I even knew what I wanted to be when I was just evolving from diapers to briefs: a stegosaurus dinosaur. Rawr.
Do I really have things figured out?
If “incredible (but equal) amounts of confidence and doubt” mean that I’ve got it figured out, then I suppose I have everything figured out.
Wait. There is one thing I’ve got figured out: I’m wired to operate when nothing is figured out.
The space where nothing is figured out is white space, just like an artist’s blank canvas. Nothing is figured out in the white space. Instead, things are created in the white space. From pure nothingness to somethingness.
Thankfully, something I’m good at is creating things.
Entrepreneurs will know what I’m talking about.
Sometimes the market agrees with me.
I say I’m good at creating things, but the market’s opinion matters most to me (most of the time).
Often, the market doesn’t agree with me. And that hurts. Seriously.
When people reject what you’ve created, you feel worthless. And wrong. And wasteful. And stupid. Oh, so stupid.
That’s probably 80% of my existence, to be honest. Maybe 90%.
As entrepreneurs, we get credit and claps for taking the jump into the white space. It’s daring. It’s trendy. It feeds the ego of everyone around us, including ourselves.
But no skydiver is applauded for taking the jump until they land safely.
My fingers are crossed for a smooth landing.
Who knows if it’ll be safe?
Safety isn’t what we do it for, anyways.
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Photo: Jay Austin