The Founder’s Quandary

After three and a half years running CitySquares, and after an additional six years running another company prior to CitySquares, I’ve learned quite a bit about starting a business and growing it. I had a bit of an epiphany a few days – I realized that I am in a quandary, caught between a rock and hard place, as a company founder, and especially as a founder running a funded company, actively on a board of directors, and working with investors. This has resulted in a new side project, a community that I am starting, along with a few others. This community is conveniently known as The Founder’s Quandary.

I’m going to spare you the details here, and let you learn about them here…

The Founder’s Quandary – the blog
The Founder’s Quandary – the Ning community
The Founder’s Quandary – on twitter

If you are a founder, please join us.

Right Now…

Right now is the most important moment in your business.
Right now is the only chance you’ll have to have right now again.
Right now is the moment you’ll wish you had in a few minutes, a few days, or a few years.

Go thank a staff member for something they deserve a thanks for, right now.
Call that investor you’ve been nervous to talk to, right now.
Ask that board member to hear you out, right now.
Thank your better half for putting up with you, right now.
Call a customer to say hello and offer your help with something, right now.
That thing you’ve been putting off? Yeah, do that, right now.

If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re not doing something important for your business, for your company, right now, than piss off – because you’re wasting your time, and your wasting everyone else’s time.

I’ve been seeing a lot of tweets, emails, and so forth, lately from “entrepreneurs” who are moaning and groaning, and carrying on. They’re quite vocal about how shitty things are for them, how tough it is out there for them. YOU POOR THING! How can the rest of us help you?

Bullshit. Get off your ass and deal with it, like everyone else. Help yourself, like you need to. Earn it, like everyone should.

Sometimes being an entrepreneur sucks. It’s not a dream job, you’re not an astronaut – even astronauts don’t want to spacewalk sometimes! Sometimes it can be thankless. Sometimes your sacrifices go unnoticed, sometimes your just not happy. But that’s part of being an entrepreneur! You made the decision you sicko! You’re the one who’s been calling yourself an entrepreneur, networking, grooving and moving, shakin’ shit up, makin’ things happen. But now, what? Times are tough, and you’re kickin’ pebbles around like someone just stole your lunch? Bullshit! Get off your ass and get to work! Maybe you need some time off… WRONG. Get to work.

It’s not how you handle the good times, how much fun you had when things were great, how great you looked in that picture for that article, how awesome the feedback was at that demo, or what Arrington said about your business model at a party, it’s what you do when things are hard, when leadership is needed the most, when those around you judge you the harshest, when your product is screwed up, when people aren’t around, when even the local paper forgot who you are.

Right now is the most important moment in your life. If you’re really an entrepreneur, you’ll close your browser right now – or close your email client – and you’ll do something you’ve been putting off right now, you’ll snap out of it and get with the program – right now!

P.S. – That’s Eddie Van Halen – a reference to his song Right Now

Who I Am

I was speaking with a friend last night about existentialism. I had quite a bit of whiskey in me so I admittedly had a problem pronouncing existentialism. Ironic timing though, because I’d just started the first piece of a large installation I’m working on. I’ve crafted a draft of the idea, and there’s a lot of work ahead. I think it’ll take a few months to get it done and done right, maybe longer. Anyhow, I figured I’d start putting the home-grown pieces of it up here on my blog. It’ll be a variety of media, so it seems. Here’s the first one, an audio file created this weekend on my Zoom H4n, it’s stereo mics plus a Shure SM-58. I edited it with Ableton Live. It’s not much at all, but it’s just one small puzzle piece in a large puzzle.