Monday, March 21, 2016

The Comfort of Discomfort

Starting a company is uncomfortable.  It should done with a shot of whiskey, an extra strength motrin, and the red pill.

The shot of whiskey is the liquid courage to get you to take action.  Taking action (even a small step) is scary and exciting at the same time.  It is uncomfortable.  You have to be comfortable not knowing what is going to happen.  If you do nothing, nothing will happen...ever.  If you do something, she just might say YES!  (Or she could be dating an MMA fighter in which you get your teeth knocked out, but what a story it would make...).

A good friend of mine is a marketing guy.  A better way to describe him would be he is a marketing analytics genius.  He had this great idea for a marketing analytics tool but kept coming up with reason that he couldn't do it.  Every time we talked he thought of a new idea for it.  Every time we talked he found a reason not to do something about it.  He was looking for the perfect solution.  The problem was he was never going to come up with a perfect data set in the real world to test his perfect solution.  He needed to just start working on it and see where it takes him.  His solution is going to have to adapt to the unknown of messy data.  I bought him a shot and said shut up and do it.

The point is it is easy to overanalyze a situation to the point where you get paralysis by analysis.  You are never going to have all the answers.  If you really want to do this you need to be comfortable with an 80% solution and be prepared to adapt as needed.  And that is uncomfortable.  Get used to it.

The motrin (make sure it is extra strength) is to help with headaches.  Don't get them, you say?  You will.  You will be like the absent minded professor.  You will have so much information thrown at you about so many different topics you will only be able to speak coherent sentences in your dreams (assuming you take a sleeping pill as well because you'll constantly be thinking about your business...the best ideas seem to come around 3am).  And oh by the way, you have to make decisions on a lot of information coming at you on a variety of different topics.  Headaches.  Don't get them, you say?  You will. It's uncomfortable.  Get used to it.

The red pill is a Matrix reference.  In the movie, Morpheus offers Neo a blue pill and a red pill.  When you take the red pill you stay in Wonderland and see how deep the rabbit hole goes.  You get to know the truth.  I reference the red pill here because you'll find out what you're made of when you start a business.  The truth in business exposes you to a lot, just like in the Matrix.  You will get knocked down...a lot.  High and lows daily.  It can be uncomfortable getting out of your shell.  Get used to it.

Starting a company is uncomfortable.  There is a fine line between excitement and terror.  You must find comfort in the discomfort if you want to follow your dreams.  If you are able to do this, it is an amazing experience.