Six months ago I had a job in an office, coworkers, a guaranteed salary, and a regular schedule.
Back then I said to myself that if after 6 months, the business I was starting didn't look promising I would throw in the towel and go back to working in an office.
Well I'm happy to say that while I'm not making enough money to buy a fleet of ponies... or, My Little Ponies for that matter, I'm still afloat, I'm as comitted as ever, and I'm learning a tremendous amount every day. I'm learning some things that make sense, and some that I really don't understand.
I've learned that people want to introduce me to people that do the exact same thing as me. This I don't understand. I would have thought that my friends and companions would want to introduce me to people who need my services, not people who provide my services.
People will say to me "Ohh my friend does video for brands, you two should meet."
I understand it comes from a well intentioned place, but I think we as people try to support others with a somewhat skewed mentality. Sure I like meeting other people in my industry, but those aren't the first people I hope to meet. I want to meet clients. Clients with money they want to spend on a video that I produce for them.
I entertain all introductions to other humans, be they purveyors of video or rocket scientists or therapists. I like meeting people. It just confuses me that people's first inclination is to introduce me to those doing the same thing as myself, especially since I don't think this is the norm in other social situations.
It's like if you have a friend who opens their own dental practice, you might say, oh my friend is looking for a dentist, give me your card.
You probably wouldn't say, you're a dentist? I have a dentist. You guys should get together and talk about teeth.
Or maybe you would.
Let's take another example. Let's say you get kidnapped by an axe murderer. And this axe murderer has got you all taped to the backsesat of his Isuzu while driving 90 miles an hour down the highway to take you into the woods and kill you.
You're probably thinking either A. I hope this guy has a good lawyer so he can get off after he kills me becuase I don't want him to go to jail, or B. I sure hope the cops pull him over so I don't get axe murdered in the woods.
And this is because every entrepreneur (let's consider axe murdering a profession) is essentially like being one half of a puzzle. And entrepreneurs are typically trying to solve that puzzle, every day, multiple times a day.
You probably wouldn't be sitting in the backsteat of that Isuzu thinking, "I wish I knew some other axe murderers so I could make some social introductions for this guy."
Do you see the point I'm trying to make?
What was my point again?
Oh right, entrepreneurship.
The other thing that has been really shocking to me, and something I don't understand is how many people just don't respond to email. At all.
I'm not talking about taking a long time to respond, or being lazy about it, I mean just flat out don't respond after many emails.
I totally get that there are some very busy important people who just don't have time. But those aren't the people I'm emailing, at least not regularly. I'm talking about people who I either meet or am introduced to for business purposes.
I will readily admit that sometimes I suck at email. I can be slow to respond, I can be lazy, I can take a long time to do certain things. But for the most part I at least respond. And certainly if somebody follows up on something twice in a row, I start feeling guilty and have to respond even if it's just to say;
Listen, I'm an idiot, I haven't gotten to this task yet, but I still like you. Please don't stop liking me.
I guess that's the beauty of email, it allows us to essentially ignore people, any people, all people, whenever we want.
I think we maybe just assume that we can always use the excuse that emails got lost in cyberspace.
Ohhh I didn't get your last... 9 emails.
Whereas if somebody calls you twice and leaves you two voicemails, that's a little harder to shrug off, though it's still possible to do so.
Now let's say I am standing across from you and I say hello and you don't respond. And I say hello again, and you still don't respond. And I say hello six more times and you still don't respond. That, we would probably all agree, is weird.
Nobody would want to be friends with the guy who just blatantly ignored the people who talk to him. Then again, nobody would want to be friends with somebody who stood in front of you yelling HELLO all day long either.
So the knife cuts both ways. I don't know if that's a saying but now it is.
My point is... what is my point?
My point is being in business for yourself is an incredibly interesting and enlightening endeavor. It's a crash course in finance, economics, leadership, relationships and more than anything, the human condition.
It often promps more questions than answers and causes more challenges than one could ever imagine before they became an entrepreneur. And perhaps the greatest point is no matter how confusing business is, or how challenging it is...
It's way better than being stuck in a car with an axe murderer.