Getting your sh*t together can be tough

I am really scared sometimes. I try as I might to balance the work at the startup with my personal life, with my freelancing, yet I seem to keep taking, and creating, hard knocks. I know I have to change what I do, and I know that I’m getting better. But it’s hard. It’s hard to know how to survive startup life. It’s hard sometimes to know what’s going on. But hey.

I know these things at least.

  • so far I’ve done OK
  • I’m still alive
  • I’ve paid rent
  • I have at 3 real friends
  • I have the support of an amazing family
  • Even if I don’t get it right this time, it’ll be ok
  • That the larger the opportunity, the more I retreat into fear

Fear sucks. Failing sucks too

Maybe I’m feeling like this because I think I can do it.

I think I can make it.. And if I do it’ll mean I can change things – I can create things in the world. New things, things that make life better. But the idea of monumental success brings with  it the idea of monumental failure. And I have yet to become comfortable with that.

Reading The Lean Start Up helps.

I’ve been learning that others failed too, simply to learn and get back up again – not simply, no, with pain and heartache and depression and anxiety. But they did it. It’s OK.

You don’t have to be the perfect, all knowing and ever impressive Wunderkind. You can have bad days. You can have days when you’re brain doesn’t seem to work and it all goes by in a blur of hours behind a computer that ends with the feeling of having done nothing. I think I’m struggling with the idea that maybe I’m actually doing a good job, because there’s always something more to do. I’m struggling with having a team to lead and manage, or the concept of it; when I’ve just become able to get the ‘doing’ done, how do I now measure my success? And does it even matter?

Knowledge trumps fear

I’m learning every day. A year ago I don’t know if I would have believed that I could be here, that I could be sustaining what I’m doing. That I could be writing and have people pay me for it. That I could have a measurable effect on the daily success of a business AS WELL as the long term processes and goals. The idea of real, lasting change seems so alien, and something I have so seldom witnessed that I’m terrified of it. But you know, I think I get it.

You gotta connect the dots.

Steve Jobs said that you can never connect the dots into the future. You can only connect the dots looking back. And when you’ve gone through hell and back and things seem to be working, you can look back and connect the dots, but you still want to control and guiding them into the future. Well guess what.

You can’t control the future, and you can’t connect the dots until they’re real.

Regardless of the stress and pressure I feel at the moment, the ins and outs of startup and freelancing life, the total “What the hell am I doing and where am I going and am I doing ANY OF IT right?!”, I guess I have to learn to appreciate that. To accept it.

You can’t connect the dots yet. And that’s OK.

It brings a certain amount of peace to someone who’s suffered so from debilitating and relationship wrecking anxiety. Ok world. I don’t know what’s going to happen next. I don’t know if I’m going to mess up, if you are, or if things are going to go well. But I’ve understood something – by working on yourself, by enabling your creativity and your desire to succeed as a PERSON, not as a founder or a writer or supporter of a CEO, then you can ensure that regardless of what you can and can’t control, you’ll be able to handle it. 

Even if it’s incredibly hard.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs said something else during that Stanford Grad Speech in 2005. He encouraged everyone who heard that speech to never let go of the thing that makes them tick. To reach out- ALWAYS- for that which they loved. To not let pressure, failure, even public ridicule remove from them the one thing they can control – doing what they loved. So I guess that’s what has to happen.

It’s what we all have to do. Push through, pick yourself up. Try again. 

I have to thank that inspiring man, because now I know what to do.

“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”