Startups are hard!
I hear this a lot from a lot of the people in the circles I have been traveling in lately. There seems to be an impression in the startup community that somehow startups have the market cornered on hardness. The funny thing is most of the time I hear this from folks that have spent there career in startup mode. This includes both long time entrepreneurs and kids right out of school getting into their first startup. This idea that somehow startups are the hardest thing you’ll ever do is a bit near sighted. You know what’s hard?
- Presenting a new product to the board of directors at a fortune 100 company. That’s hard.
- Getting 50,000 global employees excited about a turn around as a new CEO of a struggling multi-national corporation. That’s hard.
- Successfully launching a new consumer package goods brand. Thats hard.
- Finding a way to profit on margins so thin you can shave with them. That’s hard.
- Manufacturing an automobile that someone making $30,000 a year can afford to buy. That’s hard.
- Finding a way for your 30 year old, family owned, hardware store to stay in business when Home Depot moves in down the block. That’s hard.
I won’t even get into the things in this world that are truly hard, things that involve actual human survival and triumph. Even in the business world I could go on. My point is not that startups aren’t hard. There certainly are a lot of challenging things about starting a company or even working in a new company. My point is to be sure to put these things into perspective. There are some incredibly easy things about startups too. We always seem to have a tendency to focus on the things we don’t like though.
Now all that said I’m not a founder. I’ve never made that leap and thrown everything at something despite the overwhelming forces against me. I have tremendous respect for founders and true entrepreneurs. Perhaps someday I will be one. For now I’m going to keep doing hard things because easy things are boring.
As my stereotypically dry witted northern New England grandmother often reminds me in various ways. Life is hard. Enjoy it!
P.S. You know what else is hard … publishing your first crappy blog post.