I love being an entrepreneur. I love owning my own company. I even love the early mornings, sleepless nights and endless banging my head on my desk asking “what the hell am I doing”?? I love it all. Even better, I’m still in start-up, and I love being in start-up.
When I first started my company I was fortunate enough to have an incredible business mentor. During one of our first meetings he looked at me, laughed and said “Holy smokes…you’re such an entrepreneur. I bet you you didn’t know that, did you?” Having never heard that before, I thought…oh yeeeeah…I really am. I’m an entrepreneur. That explains a whole lot! Sorry ex-bosses.
During that same meeting, my mentor also told me that the start-up years are the absolutel best and most fun years of business. These words were less exciting to me at the time. When he said that to me two years ago, I wanted to crawl under the table, curl into a ball and cry. THESE were the best years? Are you kidding? The doubt? The frustration? The slogging it out to make NO money? The sleepless nights and self-doubt just to go further into debt? THESE are the best years? Forget it, this is so not worth it. What am I even doing?
Two year later, I’m actually siding with him. Start-up years truly are the best years. I’m still in start-up, but at least I can call my business an “established start-up”. I’m not entirely sure if non-entrepreneurs will understand the joy that can bring. But, it causes my heart to skip and my feet to dance and a smile to open in my heart. Progress. I’m making progress. My start-up is progressing.
Recently I’ve been asked where I get my energy from. How do I keep going? Keep pushing? It’s actually quite simple. It’s the Start-Up Buzz. There are many days that I get up at 3am and I work until 10pm. And, it’s not because I absolutely have to. I don’t set an alarm and drag myself out of bed. Something will wake me up (usually an idea), I’ll lay in bed running through the possibility of going back to sleep for about 20 minutes, then I’ll just get up and get to work.
I work for me. I work to drive my business forward. I get up and put the hours in, not because I have to, but because right now, there’s no other option in my brain or my energy. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. Sleep can wait for after the start-up years. For now, I’m driven by the difference I can make and the ideas that simply won’t shut off. My body and mind wake rested and charged after 3 hours and I’m ready.
I’m fueled by the Start-Up Buzz. I’m driven by the Start-Up Buzz. What is it? It’s the buzz you get when you have an idea, you run with it, you tell your team “HEY…we should do this…and we should have started it yesterday”…and some how, some way, it gets done. You pull it off. You make magic happen. You create success. Then, you look back the next day and think “HOLY HELL…we pulled that off”. Did anyone think we wouldn’t? I knew we would. But…holy HELL…we actually did it.
That’s the Start-Up Buzz. I’m certain there is an entrepreneur hormone that gets released in all entrepreneurs that allows us to do the work that needs to get done. To plan and strategize and complete. To work with little sleep and yet have little fatigue. To continue to push and dream and drive and dig.
Oh sure, in a year or two from now I’ll wonder how I ever got through. How I functioned. But right now, in this moment where I’ve been up and working since 2:55am and I have a full day ahead of me, there’s nothing but excitement and joy and passion and the knowledge that I will be successful. That I will conquer. There is no other option.
Without that Start-Up Buzz…well now…let’s not think like that. So, to all the entrepreneurs living and breathing and functioning off the buzz, I salute you. May we land softly when it’s time to land and may this all be worth it.