See you on the other side

2007 was a pivotal year for me in so many ways, mostly professionally. But as is the case for an American entrepreneur, my personal life hinges on my professional life. It’s now 7:30 on New Years Eve and Ali and I are settling nicely into our new home. Carmina Burana appropriately just came on the speakers. I’m working on a tasty Belgian beer, but it’s not quite cutting the edge. What edge? The front edge of 2008.

I’ve been a little edgy today (not unusual for me – I’ve been called “edgy” before, among other things), but unusually edgy. I feel slightly less in control than I’ve felt for the past few months. 2008 is supposed to be a big year for local search, and if Citysquares can innovate properly, can achieve some measurable success with sales, and expand aggressively (yet cautiously) we’ll be in excellent shape. But those are three big tasks for a maturing startup company. Make no mistake about it – I’m confident. I’m confident, first and foremost, in my own abilities to kick some effing ass. That’s not blind confidence (a.k.a. cockiness), that’s self-assured confidence – it’s just a matter of fact – I will get this done.

I suppose what’s got me most anxious is the changes. The foliage is changing, for the better. When the foliage changes, I get a little fucked up. It’s the unpredictability of it all, the change from comfort to the unknown that gets me a little uptight. It reminds me a lot of Michael Gerber’s E-Myth – the Technician vs the Manager vs the Entrepreneur. When I first read Michael’s book, back when I was running Atomic, I was struggling with the different ways an “entrepreneur” can run a business. The book was recommended to me and I read it front to back, listened to the audio book on the subway, and soaked it in with an open mind – then I did it again. I learned so much! It wasn’t long after that I started Citysquares – with an entrepreneurial mindset. And it happened naturally.

So here I am today, a little over 2 years since starting the company. We’ll be at 13 employees in January. We’re starting our expansion. The strategy is really being set into motion. And now, I’m like a visiting team’s starting pitcher facing some tough batters in the top of the 3rd with a tie score. It’s a pivotal time in the game and I’ve got to perform, got to give my team a chance to get up to the plate – but I’ve also got to keep plenty of fuel in the tank to finish the game.

I’m ready. I’m anxious. I’m motivated. I’m eager. I’m fuckin pissed off. See you in ’08.

This Week's Ma.gnolia Bookmarks

My Ma.gnolia bookmarks for this past week.

Cat Scratching Solutions

Cat Scratching Solutions

Cat Scratching Solutions by a Veterinarian

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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Local Papers' Web Scramble – WSJ.com

Local Papers' Web Scramble - WSJ.com

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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Ask George Zimmer | Printer-friendly version

Ask George Zimmer | Printer-friendly version

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

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View all my bookmarks on Ma.gnolia

My Definition of Entrepreneurship

Ali and I are moving to a new home in a few days, so naturally our current place a mess. Boxes everywhere, dust bunnies skating across the hardwood floors, the smell of packing tape is in the air, and the sound of tape guns can be heard from one room to the next.

I was packing up a room this morning, and I came across an old boombox. I noticed there was a CD in it. It happened to be Neil Young’s Harvest Moon, a slow, acoustic, melancholy album. Among the songs that came on was “One of These Days.” It really took me back – I mean way back. The last time I heard this song was probably in the mid 90s, on a snowy day just like today, with an old friend. A friend I miss dearly. There are many friends who I miss dearly. It’s ironic that the last time I heard it was with an old friend who I miss dearly. Among the lyrics of the song:

“One of these days, I’m gonna sit down and write a long letter, to all the good friends I’ve known…

I never tried to burn any bridges. Though I know I let some good things go…

From down in L.A., all the way to Nashville,
From New York City, to my Canadian prairie home,
All my friends are scattered like leaves from an old maple.
Some are weak, some are strong.

One of these days, I’m gonna sit down and write a long letter to all the good friends I’ve known, and it won’t be long.

Songs mean a lot of things to each of us, and to many there is nothing more powerful than a heartfelt song. Today I had one of those moments.I was reminded of so much – so much that I’ve tried to forget, so much that I’ve tried to move on from. And for the most part I have, but much of it’s still with me, mostly good stuff. I guess as life goes on, so much sticks to you, other things don’t. And we don’t get to pick and choose. All we can do is make decisions about right now. Those decisions influence those we’ll be faced with tomorrow.

I guess what inspired me to sit down and write this in the middle of packing is that it really reminded of what I’m working so hard for. I’m working for a better life – for myself, for my wife, for a family that I’ll build. I’m working to make sure that I’m the best person I can be. To live right. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. I didn’t get a degree in business. It’s not intentional, this entrepreneurial thing. And It’s not about the money, it’s not about having a notch on my belt, it’s not about being an entrepreneur, or being connected to wealthy and powerful people, or an ego. It’s about building the best life I know how to build.

I’m glad I put that CD on today, I’m glad the song came on, I’m glad I remembered.

(Sorry for the cheesiness.)