I have a group of friends outside my local group of friends. They had a good idea, and they spent a couple months chasing it. I helped them as a friend will, and as best I could.
But they quit today. They just gave up. They are all going back to J.O.B.S.
I feel bad for them – really bad. Mostly because I know they think they have now given it their “one shot at glory”. They are unlikely to try it again.
What this really means (ok – MIGHT mean) is that none of them will ever truly be happy in life – they will always wonder – “Did we quit too soon”, “What else could I have done”, or “Should I have tried again?”
They will probably never know. And no matter how well they do working for someone else, they will always know they failed at building something for themselves.
I determined about four years ago that I would never put myself in the position of “not trying hard enough” again. Or of “quitting too soon”.
Since then I have tried:
- Recruiting. I actually started three recruiting companies and DID have a small bit of success in it – but it just didn’t fit my personality (I don’t want to sell stuff to people – I want people to come to me and buy stuff (a huge difference!))
- Programming – yes, I thought I could get back into it and pull it off. I couldn’t, and I didn’t.
- Building a MySpace/Facebook style startup. Nope – I wasn’t ready to manage people in that environment. Hell, I wasn’t even ready to qualify who would work well in that environment.
Those are three failures JUST since I decided to fail only on my own – to not depend on a company succeeding or failing, but to only depend on myself. But I tried again. I tried something that I thought was the least likely thing I could do and make money, and be happy with. I tried consulting.
Now I don’t think you get what I mean by consulting – I am not the guy in the Dilbert cartoon that comes in and tells everyone what they are doing wrong, collects a big check, and walks away.
Generally I take as little cash from the company (and in some cases zero cash) and get as much equity as I can. Equity can be of zero value, or it can change your life. I’m counting on some of that equity being valuable one day. Perhaps I am wrong. But at least I am trying. I didn’t quit.
My goal in life is to make money while I am sleeping – so I can spend my waking moments doing things that are really important to me.
Not quitting is important to me.