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This week’s post was written a couple weeks ago, but I thought the message was good for anyone faced with challenges.

Hope you enjoy!

Paper clips

If this sounds difficult, it is.
If this sounds dangerous, it certainly can be.
And if this sounds scary as hell, it’s that too.

It’s also my favorite metaphor for how it really feels when you are leading a start-up.

Let me cut to the runway.
I’ve been dodging bullets, striking out and smacking some base hits on a start up for nearly three years. Had an idea, raised some money, made a slew of choices, bought some snake oil and experienced some great moments of joy.

I’m still standing.

I’ve had some super-sized disappointments. They came from vendors who oversold and under preformed, ding dongs who came dressed as smarter persons, partners who bailed and from me too, who was present during all of that.

Learned lots of things they don’t teach you in any business school.
1.Most people do not have the wiring to be a card-carrying entrepreneur and won’t understand you.
2.Cash poor can be as valuable as having a fresh round of funding.
3.People have limits and most won’t change. This will aggravate you often especially if you are a high achiever. Get pissed off for about 20 minutes max, then accept it and move on.

Common emotions, but temporary situations
o Feeling deserted and alone (Go to the airport, you won’t feel alone and you will feel skinny)
o Feeling stupid (Start wearing glasses even if they are fake, instant IQ)
o Feeling like a big loser (Watch the Enron story, you’re not even close)
o Feeling slightly more empathic to bridge jumpers and workplace violence (Just stop that)
o Feeling like there is a national conspiracy to not return your calls, emails or ever meet with you (99% of all conspiracy stories are fiction, if you are that 1% the FBI may be a better answer than this blog)

Frequent questions you will ask yourself
o Why can’t I figure this out?
o Where is my magic wand when I need it?
o What the hell is wrong with me?
o How did a company that goofy do that so well?

Things you may want to do.
o Move to France and wait tables under a new identity.
o Drink a lot, everyday
o Sleep for several months

Been there, done all that.

Things you need to remember.
o No one said being an entrepreneur was easy. If it were, every Schmo in the hood would be one. Sacrificing stuff and people, going to scary places and working seven days a week is common in most startup stories.
o One of the most important attributes of an entrepreneur is they try stuff, sometimes they try a millions times before they discover the winning formula
o Only you can control how you feel every day. Decide to feel great. Feeling like crap will not fix anything, feeling happy, confident and throwing off positive vibes will increase your odds of success and attracting good things.

What you’ve got to do.
o Exercise, eat right and take care of you
o Work smart, focus and prioritize on achieving things that will move you closer to your goal
o Let things go, disappointments, yesterday’s stuff and all screw ups, yours too
o Believe in you, your team and your dream

I’m not only still in the game, I’ve got a big second wind gusting momentum.

I’m proud of my jet plane, even though it’s fueled by a ½ paper clip and may not be all pimped out with a full crew and resources. It’s still in the sky and this moving forward.

After months of bumps, damage control, fighting off flying alligators, rebuilding a site, moving back to Tampa and trying to figure out how to build a sustainable venture, while eating and paying a mortgage—we have a new plan—and a very bright future.

There’s a few seats left, you may want to jump on fast.