I woke up this morning and realised I had forgotten something important! I forgot to live. Been so immersed in work, a mortgage and having baby routines over the last 3 years that the fun seems to have disappeared. A grey, dull life of careful planning, just ease the way through all the issues.
Aaaah – those single days – sleeping in (sigh), staying out late, eating at 9pm, making spur of the moment decisions to go out for the night, or weekend. Hehe, it was a sweet life. Wait – I am NOT complaining. Just realising that being a parent is more than paying a mortgage, providing clean clothes and a nutritious meal at 6p.m. every night. Trying to control absolutely every moment of the day is not only hard work, it is futile! Things will still happen. Time to get back to embracing change, to living on the unpredictable side of the fence. For in keeping everything so controlled I have done my child a disservice. If she doesn’t learn to “roll with the punches” she wont be so successful in adapting to change, and she wont be as capable at finding solutions to challenges. I became over protective.
These are huge goals for me to provide her with skills in. If she can adapt, if she can withstand adversity and failure, then she will be able to find success in whatever goals she chooses to set for herself. I think these are critical attributes for any entrepreneur (and we are all entrepreneurs in whatever we choose to do). I am driven to providing these skills to her because I know I lack the tenacity of overcoming failure myself. I am trying to find the way to work around the fear, around the feeling of disappointment at failing, a way to be less controlling, to be ok to lose money or reputation, and go with the flow more, but it is very frustrating, and keeping me back from my own entrepreneurial successes. Take a look at the great entrepreneurs of today – they are NOT afraid to fail. They have all failed a number of times before finding success. And they will all tell you that it was through their failures that they found success. Did you know that Walt Disney failed twice in businesses before being the household name he is today? He started the Iwers-Disney Commercial Artist Company, which fell after a very rocky start. Then he had Laugh-O-Grams which went out of business due to bankruptcy, mainly because he had studio costs, far too many staff and not enough revenue to pay everything.
- Donald Trump – has gone bankrupt how many times?
- Steve Jobs was fired by Apple Computers in 1985, the company he helped to create. He went on to acquire Pixar, made it a success, and then came back to reinvent Apple as a very successful consumer products business.
- Dean Kamen, the creator of the Segway Human Transporter, several successful biomedical device businesses, and holder of 440 patents, jokes that his biggest failure is “that I have too many to talk about.”
- Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb, central power generation, and the phonograph, but failed in his effort to extract low-grade iron ore from sand. He brushed this off, and went on to many successful media and transportation businesses later in life.
Anyway, back to the topic.
Life is what teaches you to overcome failure, to embrace change and use it for positive. And it is these ups and downs that give life it’s colour, its vibrancy. By controlling life too closely, it becomes boringly stable, and that makes us fade away. Automatons just wandering through the day following the same old vanilla cookie recipe. No – stop – lets throw some chocolate chips in! Lets live on the edge, feel the heart pumping, let loose the rules of our society a little, open up the arms and explore that which is different, find some fun, have an adventure. And I am going to start right now. Tomorrow – no plans, we are getting in the car and just going somewhere for the day. See what happens, find solutions on the run. Makes my heart race in anticipation! Oh my – I might just start to feel alive!
Long term – time to take more risks, take less notice of cultural and community expectations and do what is right for US as a family. Oh – and plan a holiday or 2 that do NOT include a family visit (as have all trips since our honeymoon in 2005). Disneyland – we cant wait to raid the mortgage and come see you in a couple of years!
So, I am off to start living in technicolour again – how about you?
Every thought about what goes into making a business name up? Probably not, although the whole iSnack 2.0 debacle does come to mind……. Choosing names is a critical success factor for any biz and can take months to decide. These days it is made even more complicated as you have to find domain names to match. It seems every US word under the sun has been registered, leading to some very odd choices for emerging start ups! Wakoopa, Frengo, Squidoo or Meebo- just to name a few!
Of course some choices are just bad, especially when combined to make a domain:
- Looking for a pen? try Pen Island at http://www.penisland.net
- Italian Power Generator company… http://www.powergenitalia.com
- Mole Station Native Nursery: http://www.molestationnursery.com
- First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website is http://www.cummingfirst.com
- Art designers: http://www.speedofart.com
- Holiday in Lake Tahoe! http://www.gotahoe.com
Others start out bad but become accepted and their weirdness or boringness forgotten – iPad (ummm, yeah, women around the world shuddered at the thought of unmentionable ladies products) and Facebook (yawnnnnnnnn).
Then there are the brilliant naming strategies, like Shagbook. It’s a matchmaking site of course. LOVE IT – the name, no idea about the site LOL. Facebook doesn’t love it though. Like Teachbook before it, they are picking up their massive hammer to pummel the startup into nanodes. Why? ‘cos the name may bring disrepute to Facebook!!!!!!! Oh come on – stop being so utterly and completely BORING Facebook – loosen up mate. Take a chill pill and grow a sense of humour (for note – Apple – YOU too can take this advice – leave off all the courtroom drama and get back to making life interesting – you will actually make MORE money THAT way).
In fact, the big biz trend setters are becoming remarkably snoozeworthy these days aren’t they. Being a Goliath seems to make you too conservative, you lose touch with the edge. Must be all the bean counters that infect such organisations in their grey suits and balding heads. All hail the mighty dollar, we must gather you to us, we must not spend, but we must snatch you from competitors and customers by the truckloads. The problem with these guys is that the only place they get creative is in the books. They can’t see the need to innovate to remain a market leader, especially in this technological age. 3M learned this error a few years ago when appointing a CPA to the top job – cut spend on innovation, in a company that is all about innovation, and then watched the biz nosedive in a free fall for 2 years. They are still recovering!
Note to Facebook, you are becoming truly awful. Forgot to remain relevant and novel whilst figuring out how to extort ridiculous money from businesses for advertising campaigns that don’t work. Google plus is a much better option, interesting and a bit different. Just needs to get to the tipping point and FB is going to slide into the abyss – whilst all those balding grey suits try to jump ship and go destroy the next rolling stone.
And Apple – ah Apple – so successful, but so controlling. Buying an Apple device is like having dad in control of your life forever. They assume you will be naughty so constrain everyone within an inch of their lives to prevent the tiny minority of innovators that find ways to do “stuff”. The latest – cameras will be disabled at functions like concerts so people can’t upload the event live to the net. WOW – if I want to record a memorable moment of my mates and I screaming at Bon Jovi I can’t. Talk about draconian steps to crush a small problem – instead you could have just prevented uploads by blocking signals, and if artists are concerned about uploads down the track (they shouldnt – its advertising) then they can utilise lighting strategies to prevent video viewer comfort – derrrrrrrrrr! No soup for you…… and no Apple for me!
It’s the little people who are truly innovating and pushing the envelope – because they need to, to compete and be noticed, but also because they have the freedom to do so. Biz like Toldyah are looking at the future.
I was just asked by a journalist for a quote on starting up a biz as a woman……… thought about it for a while and came up with this as the most relevant comment I can make from where I currently stand in the process:
A successful startup is about finding the fortitude to keep butting your head against the barriers even when everyone else has turned away, keeping strong to your vision whilst taking onboard the criticism, and remembering why you wanted to start in the first place. Hard work, long hours, and a happy outcome.
In other words – stand back up every time you get smacked down, learn to say “yes, but,” and keep your eye on the end prize – a better life for the family.
Of course – I don’t have the happy outcome at the mo…….. In fact, we’re so far into boot-strapping that I am going back to work to make ends meet. So Toldyah is about to become after hours only for a while. But that’s ok – adversity breeds success they say – so the universe must be breeding a humongous win for me – woo hoo!
I am busy butting my head against the barriers, and having people turn away, unwilling to help. I’m trying to get people to see what I can see. All entrepreneurs with novel ideas go through this stage – some for a long time. iPad………how many laughed at the time???? I did! Just wish I had Steve Jobs money behind me!
The problem is getting the money people to understand why this will work. How 2 years from now everyone will be using video as the means of communication rather than text – WHY CANT THEY SEE THAT????? It’s a no-brainer. Already there is movement for using vid – so many comps and promos out now, Google plus chat, Facebook/Skype chat……. am waiting for Murdoch’s Illegal Chat app to be released – the vid you make when you don’t know your being taped!