My son wrote me a note that said, “Fireworks in the brain come from learning!” The last month getting Threadline off the ground has been like the 4th of July for me. Here are a few of the lessons that stick out:
- Starting a company while on vacation is either a great way to set the tone for the culture of the company or an awful way to vacation. I’m going with the former since it was such a celebratory experience in an extremely beautiful setting. Lesson: Celebrate the work until the wins come. Then celebrate again.
- You never really know what it means to eat what you kill until the direct deposit from your employer isn’t direct nor is it depositing. That means I’m thinking about the ROI of every investment and the sustainability of every source of income. Lesson: Self-employment is also self-unemployment and that adds to the excitement and anxiety of entrepreneurship.
- When you own a business, you’re suddenly part of a club of some of the most supportive people in the world. Friends and strangers have all reached out offering sounding boards, advice and support. Lesson: Collaboration > Competition.
- Maintaining humility and selling yourself has been an interesting tension for me. I’ve written and rewritten an elevator pitch more times than I care to admit. However, I’ve come to realize that my background, experience and expertise are more valuable in the sun than in the shadow. Lesson: Believing in your self-worth and being humble don’t conflict.
- I thought about work-life balance a lot when I was employed by others but for the first time it feels like the balance isn’t a struggle any more. I help more around the house. I’ve had more time with the kids. I work out more often. This has been one of the most fulfilling months of my career so far. Lesson: I don’t think I’ll ever go back.
These are only a few of lessons so far and new ones come at me every day. If you’re in a similar spot in your career or life, hit me up. We’re all part of the club.