Starting a Business

I decided a month ago to start a business. The funny bit is that my business partner and I had been collaborating for a while- we both worked closely at two different jobs, and many projects together, before deciding to “go legit.” We already had clients, even. We just hadn’t done the paperwork.

Between jobs last transition, I thought I wanted to start a business, but didn’t have any idea of *what* kind of business. I went to networking events, as a founder/CTO, hoping to be inspired. I went to a lot of them. I remained uninspired.

Then, like all big life transitions, you realize that it’s staring you in the face. I actually had clients that were still in the limbo state I had left them when I took my last job. So, we picked up right where we left off. I think, in retrospect, my last two positions were actually training grounds for this venture. In a weird way, it all cosmically made sense. Not that the road isn’t rocky. I was very down yesterday– I admit it– and wondering if this was the right decision at all. In a way that’s what makes partnerships great, he reminded me that we had such a great run of it recently, that this was a bit of start-up reality soaking in. Sometimes things don’t always go your way, etc.

And, it’s not all an accident or unplanned. I had conscientiously been building up resources and connections, people who I wanted to work with for x,y,z, all those things that prepare you. Now that we’re in the midst of it, it’s still overwhelming and there’s so much to do. So this isn’t some kind of triumph story, it’s definitely still a struggle. And I always question our value proposition, wondering if we should pivot, if we are viable, etc.

I don’t believe in the “you’ll find work doing what you love” life coach ideology- I would sit around eating cake and watching TV “for work.” I do enjoy helping people out with my skills, and building tight little good-looking prototypes.
Also, if you really want to do something, I do think everything ends up being easy. We had our first app launch, and I had a lot of jitters. I had to seriously convince myself that there was a small possibility everything would be fine… and it was. In fact, the users were more engaged than I’d hope, usage was higher, and we were able to live deploy about 5 changes during the launch. (Our strategy was to build an app that could be modified during launch).

Starting a business isn’t for everyone- I occasionally long for a situation where I can just show up at 9am and get paid, instead of wearing 5 hats. But it is nice to put into practice what we’ve observed, learning from errors and successes alike.