All The Lessons For
Back To The Grid
Five Reasons for Startup: Elimination
Job Loss, Opportunity, Youth, Experimentation, Because Startup
In some ways, I'm trying to persuade you into startup (or to stay with startup) with this series. I'm trying to convince you, you even might say I'm trying to trick you.
But I'm doing it for the right reasons.
When the startup community talks about startup, it's usually one of two ways. The first is a "go-for-broke" type of pitch -- usually a bunch of slogans you might find hanging on a wall in Successory-style framed image barf. I'm not a big fan of this, because I think it distills something awesome and complex into something pedestrian.
But I dislike the second type of pitch more -- the one that makes startup seem like a business class for people who have already been to business school. The folks that tell you that you're probably not ready, you'll probably hate it, and your cute little extension of the corporate world will lead you to a lot of pain and suffering if your financial projections are off by a few points.
Look, I'm not good at startup -- in the same way I'm not good at golf. The difference is, while I'll never show up on a professional golf tour, I can make a job, a career, even a life out of being an entrepreneur. So I'm going to keep learning, practicing, and playing.
Yeah, I need blind motivation at times, but it's MY blind motivation, not anything you can put a picture of a sailboat or a rainbow under to tell me to hang in there on Mondays. And I need financial projections, pitch decks, and market analysis, but there's NO UNIVERSAL MAP for how to do this. If I don't know the business of my business well enough to know my numbers, I need to focus on my business, not focus on where I put my hands when I'm pitching from a stage to a collection of uninterested VCs.
See? I'm already getting a little heated.
My point is: If you're not interested in startup for the Independence, Wealth, or Common Good that's inherent in it, and if your Personality isn't telling you that being an entrepreneur might be in your blood, startup can still be legitimate, satisfaction-filled way to spend your life. It may just come down to the process of Elimination.
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My Employer Terminated Me Two Weeks Ago So I Am Building My Own Office In My Backyard
And They Are Not Invited
(And because I want you to believe everything I say, I will try to squeeze in a few F-bombs).
Now, before I continue, let me pause briefly to tell you how I effing got here.
• I started this and grew it over three years before I made one strategic error too many and had to effing close it down.
• Having been an entrepreneur for almost two decades (that includes the landscaping business I started when I was 12 and loaded my parents' push-mower into my mom's minivan and "ubered" to one of two gas stations whose ~acre of knee-high grass got the business from my dull blade every two weeks for what amounted to $10/hour, before deducting effing expenses), I was torn between diving back in to my next venture right away and going on a sabbatical to work for someone else for a change.
• I was conflicted by these two choices, and then I read this and decided to take a job with an older, wiser, more established startup who could offer me some semblance of stability for awhile--I do not really know what stability feels like; that is the effing downside of being an oft-romanticized "serial entrepreneur."
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The Crumbling of Corporate Culture
Teaching Startup: The Show - Episode 1.4
I founded Teaching Startup because I believe we're on the verge of a new era of entrepreneurship.
Those jobs we lost in the Great Recession? They're not coming back. They're being automated and streamlined out of existence. Then you've got all these kids coming out of higher education, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt in some cases, who can't find a job worth their degree.
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