You will probably hate me after this post, but I have to get it off my chest. Too much stuff piled up in the last few months that it needs to be said publicly. You never hear about this because we (the entrepreneurs) are strong, tough, invincible. We invent new stuff, we solve people problems with our products, and we solve governments problems with paid taxes. Yes, we are the go to solution for everything. Everything that surrounds you, and that you are using currently is a result of an inventor or/and an entrepreneur – fact! Yet no one asks us how we feel, what bothers us. People just ride our ass.
Case one – Working tired, sick, depressed
By working, I mean 12 hours (in some cases 14-16, who is counting?), I mean Saturdays, Sundays. I mean being diagnosed with some shit disease that lasts couple of months, and you doing something so stressful like fundraising. During all that, people tapping you on the back, telling you: that’s great, come back to us when you are making more money.
Ok, lets practice pitching – from 10pm to 1am after having 5 meetings, and working about 10 hours. And change the pitch 3 days before demo day, because it’s so crucial for people to understand what it is that you are saying. And you are saying something no one ever said before. How do you teach someone something they never saw – well compare it with something they have seen. Problems is, people then have misconceptions and they misunderstand you.
Case two – no love
Imagine being in the Antarctica. Alone. Or in some cases, there’s a few of you. Like an expedition. Trust me, some days, you wish you are alone in the Antarctica, better than being with an expedition. No sex for 4 months. No hugging, no kissing, your love is…. somewhere. To some, no big deal, to some heartbreaking.
I heard one startup co-founder telling me how he was just recently blessed with another child. And after a few months being home, he had to leave for Silicon Valley. The older girl who is still 5-6 years, told her daddy:”Please daddy, don’t forget me and the little one.”.
And after that he left for Silicon Valley, to build his startup.
It is an up at dawn, pride swallowing siege that no one will ever fully tell you about! But today, I gathered the courage to give you a small portion.
Another startup co-founder told me that his wife just gave birth to twins. And while they were 6 months he had to leave to attend an accelerator program. Now when he talks with her wife, she holds them both in her arms – via video conference. You are my hero Sampad!
I met a startup co-founder whose wife was diagnosed with cancer, and still he went to Silicon Valley, to get his startup funded, and it was with the support of his wife.
In case you have tears in your eyes, it’s OK, because I sure as hell do.
How do these people find the courage, strength, persistence to not just continue, but to crush it?
It’s such a shame that investors, and users don’t care about the entrepreneur heart breaking story. A story where you meet the love of your life, you just changed “the relationship status on Facebook”, and then you have to leave for 4 long months. SHOW ME TRACTION BOY!
Oh right, I don’t get to be a cry baby cause I have a new iPhone, iPad, Air, fire, balls, shit.
Case three – compared to war criminals, slavery and connected to controversy
In some countries (and you people will recognize yourselves), citizens actually compare entrepreneurs to war criminals! You know how the word “theory” always goes with “conspiracy”? Well in some countries the word “controversial” almost always goes with “entrepreneur”! The picture is distorted because of the media! If someone is controversial, he is not an entrepreneur, he is shit, and call him like that! People need to be taught what entrepreneur is, and isn’t. It’s like saying Yoda and Lord Sidius are the same tip of guy. Well they are not!
Calling entrepreneurs slavers, and knowing that they are the ones who get up each day, thinking about 1 thing – how the hell do I make money so I can:
– make payroll
– pay taxes
– pay company bills
– make new services
– (there’s a catch, if you make too much, you get to pay more taxes, ha!)
– everything else that all normal people think about: help my parents, take my girl out, pay for personal bills, pay value added tax, etc…
Everyday we fly into the unknown. If I take an investment will they crucify me later? If I open a company in a foreign country, will I go to jail for something wrong I did, that I didn’t know I am not supposed to do? Will I amount so much debt for financing my startup that I will have to pay for it for the rest of my life?
Yes, I am a war criminal and a slaver. Well then, why do I have to pay for my employees taxes, health and pension security? And pay extra if I miss a day? Why don’t I just give you the money, and you deal with your security, and taxes, and missed payments?
It’s OK, you go home and sleep. I go home and worry how I am going to pay your lunch.
So, what happens next? The difficult part.
Learn, progress, evolve, grow, help others! If you are not happy with your work, paycheck, boss, don’t blame them, blame yourself! Yes, I just spit in your face! I don’t care, I am a blood sucking controversial slavering war criminal. Learn something difficult, and a miracle will appear! Make my life easier for change, and help me, help you!
I bought 20 books this month, when will I read them if I am so tired that today I woke up tired after 9 hours of sleep, and then went back to bed to get 1 more hour of rest. You don’t necessarily have to buy books, maybe your knowledge can be acquired differently, through seminars, courses, networking, but the dog has to learn new tricks.
A man of humble beginnings walks a path that ultimately leads to the salvation of many…but at the cost of the man’s own life. That is the path of a messiah called the entrepreneur.
[EDIT 22nd, August, 2014] If you liked this blog post, perhaps you will like the ebook]