Starting-up a start-up from the eyes of a starter-upper.
Looking back now, I guess you could say it started with a slip. I was what you call a serial entrepreneur, but the term entrepreneur never stuck with me because, well… you have to earn profit in order to be an entrepreneur. And if you are not earning a profit – then you are not an entrepreneur.
Over the last two years alone, I’ve learned that this style of traditional thinking, and definitely the idea of a fixed mindset – is just not my thing. The expression goes that the last thing to grow on the fruit tree is the fruit itself, and the years have also revealed the fact that currency comes in many denominations – and all that glitters is not gold.
My mistake, in the past, also known as my risk, was jumping in too fast without ever knowing if the water was warm or cold. And that is because my mindset is growth and sometimes, also known as I really don’t give a f*ck mindset – or, moving forward, what will be known as making the case for being reckless.
Making the case for being reckless is hard in the corporate world – but oh so easy as a storyteller. It is truly not for the faint of heart. Mainly because there is actually a lot of heart involved in making the case for being reckless… you literally put all of it into starting-up a start-up on start-up funding.
Everyday you pull yourself by the metaphorical bootstraps to pick up where you left off – only a few hours ago. There is nothing else except heart and you will put it on the line every damn day you sit in front of a desktop computer, a tablet, or glue your eyes to a mobile f*cking implant in your hand.
Truth be told, in the end, or actually the beginning, it was a concussion that forced my hand to starting-up a start-up. It wasn’t so much the absolute fear of not being able to easily do what I had been so easily able to do my whole entire life – or most of it.
It wasn’t even that I was so numb after the brain injury and vestibular issues that rolled in disguised as cluster headaches and blank days staring at the ceiling for more than six months. Honestly, the mere thought of the above concept wasn’t even a firm grasp of the actual picture that was being painted.
What I was good at doing was slowly sinking into the horizon of the rest of my working life.
My mind was 50% confused 80% of the time. On the good days. On the bad days… it was 100% confused. Foggy and downright absent.
Sitting and working in front of a computer screen to conceive a creative concept was now more than a task. It was inconceivable. The nausea made sure of that. Talking on a phone, well… 10 minutes tops. If I was lucky. And the nausea said, ”Hey, let me get a bucket for you.”
Yet, I knew, that with the right opportunity at the right time, and with right effort of grit and grind, that I could return to at least a copy of myself before the injury. And, maybe more importantly, that in in the return, I could also turn around and leave that idea of who I was and what I was here to do – to leave that all behind. So, after a brief conversation with my partner, we agreed that, well – you only have this one life.
Writing for me, informally for stories or formally for business, media or government, has always been natural. I can’t fix your fridge or even the sliding door I once crashed into by mistake. I struggle with simple tasks of everyday life that the everyday human considers to be simple tasks.
But when I write a post, press release or copywriting for a landing page or micro advertising, I sit securely in a seat of knowledge that if it is sh*t – then it is sh*t. If I don’t enjoy writing it, then it’s sh*t and no one enjoys reading sh*t. And since we are a no-bullsh*t studio, well… you get the idea. If we, as a storytelling studio are going to borrow attention from complete strangers, or worse, steal their precious time, then we must strive to give something more valuable back.
We’re not afraid to rock the boat because steady seas never made for skilled sailors. As a leader, I always ran any role, no matter how small it seemed, and introduced big and bold ideas with measurable and memorable outcomes. I followed best practices and established best principles – mostly through trial and error but always through the lens of we can do so much better.
So, in the case of starting a start-up from the eyes of a starter-upper, and specifically from the new angle of permanent lifetime balance issues and significant hearing loss in my right ear, I decided it was the right time. The right time to call it as a career, in terms of working for others, and take my moment to plant a flag firmly in the sand, as a leader who wants to work with others.
Hopefully I have not borrowed your attention for too long, and in return for that time, you will leave with something more valuable. And since value is subjective, well… next on the docket will be why we are here for the underdog with a big-balled stiff uppercut of ouch hiding under whatever trouble you plan on making.
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