Thursday, November 7, 2013

I think too much or "What to do when you don't know what to do"

We are still on the start-up roller coaster.  Actually, it feels more like a train.  Sometimes it goes slowly, then it might speed up a bit, and other times it just stops.  It's needed maintenance, some new workers, and it definitely needs fuel to keep it moving.

There's the problem.  There is not enough fuel.

It's so frustrating to watch something go from an idea to something real . . something real people pay real money to use . . . but it just might not be enough.

We've been on this train for a few years now, and we've seen some great things as it ambles along.  But we're stuck somewhere now.  It's not a fun place to be.  It's like when I went to London with my friend Stephanie and we were supposed to get the Gatwick Express train from Victoria station straight to the airport.  But somehow we ended up on a regular train, PACKED with people and suitcases, stopping at every stop along the way.  Stephanie said that it was the only time in 19 years of traveling that she's ever missed a flight.  I really, really hope we don't miss our flight with SnapCar.

Maybe we're in what Seth Godin likes to call "the Dip".   It's that scary place in entrepreneurial ventures where everything seems really bad and scary . . . right before the business starts to climb up, quickly, in the right direction.

But maybe we're at the end.  And that's what makes it so scary.  So bothersome.  So . . . "in limbo".

And you may well know how that is my least favorite place to be!

The truth is, there aren't any decisions to be made.  It doesn't matter that we will have spent every penny we ever saved, sold almost everything we ever owned, or very well may end up with nothing: we have to ride this train all the way to the terminus.  There are days I really, really want to jump off this train.

I tell myself if I get off now, it will be easier to dust off and we'll still have a little energy to start something else.   But I know we can't do it.  We have to ride that wave of fear and discomfort right up until the end.

It's so impractical.  It's so risky.  It's so scary.

But I think it's the only way to know if we gave it our all.  And even though Dave is the one in the trenches, working out the kinks, fighting to make the company what he wants it to be, this really is a team effort.  I cheer him on when he is down, I tell him how proud I am that he created something from nothing, I listen for hours as he tells me about clients and potential partners and shows me maps of Paris and explains every detail of this thing he loves.  I bite my tongue when he says "I'm so happy every day when I go to work!" because I know it's true . . . but it might not last.

Dave has what it takes to be an entrepreneur,  I've seen it first hand.  He has faith in an idea, courage to execute and the grit to keep moving forward against all obstacles.  He has an optimism that you can't buy or fake, but definitely need to do this kind of thing.

The end of the year is coming fast, and who knows what will happen.  I suppose time will tell, as it usually does.

If you believe in miracles, or in the good guy winning--I sure hope you're right.


Eleven said...

I believe!!! Hang in there. I'm coming to Paris this summer and I want to use SnapCar!!!

Sue said...

That was strong and powerful. It's something they should make them read in business school. Going it alone is not easy and it takes everything you have.
You are survivors so we know you will be OK.


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