I’m sure most people reading this have been in love at one point in their life. It’s a wonderful feeling that fills your heart with wonder, awe and inspiration. If you haven’t been in love before, promptly go out and find someone to fall in love with, then come back and read the rest of this post… go on now.
… Hey you’re back! How was it? Oh really… sorry to hear that. She did what? With who? Ooo… brutal. Moving on…
Another amazing, often less painful way to be in love, is falling head over heels infatuated with your business. Now this may seem nerdy at first, but I can attest to the joyous highs of being absolutely dreamy eyed about your start up. Yes there’s always problems (though they usually don’t rear their ugly head until after the honeymoon period is over) but overall if you are passionately in love with what you’re doing your life will be a thousand times better.
How to love your business
Think of your business like a person, you can think of it like a spouse that will one day support you fully (and hopefully make you filthy rich). Or you can be more diplomatic and look at it like a child who you raise, nurture into adulthood and finally turn it over to the world to make it’s mark (think: your exit strategy).
Sometimes your business can be a friend that gets you through a hard time and keeps your mind off things (think: starting a business after a romantic separation, during an illness, after losing your job). Regardless how you view your business you need to truly ‘feel’ that deep connection that you’d feel
towards a loved one or friend to really be in love with what it is you’re doing. This emotional connection is what will get you through the hard times and what will make the good times euphoric.
Just like with a person or beloved pet it’s important to love your business by putting it’s needs above your own at times. Like working 12 hours straight to fix a glitch on the website or missing a vacation with friends because it’s critical that you’re attending to your start up. Right now I am commuting back and forth between Nevada and the Bay Area every week while I’m in the Founder Institute for my business. Today I woke up at eight and took one subway, two buses and a train to get back home – I’ve been traveling for 9 hours, I think I smell because people keep inching away from me and I’m utterly exhausted. But when I get home I’m going to tend to my business a little more before I relax, because it needs a lot of my time right now and since I love it I’m okay with that.
Love what your business will be
Sometimes I sit and day dream about how my business will look as it grows. I imagine offices in San Francsico, housed in an old warehouse building with wooden floors and lots of windows. I can literally see the desks, the nerdy hipster people who will work there and the smell of an espresso machine making mini cups of liquid crack (also known as Segafredo extra strong blend).
You need to focus on not only what your business is today but what it will be in your wildest dreams, this is the key to building something amazing. Today your start up may be in a garage, or perhaps it’s just an idea scribbled down on a few napkins. Tomorrow though, or 3 years from now, your business could be the next Zynga, Groupon or 1-800-GOT-JUNK.
Just like when you imagine your ideal mate, or stare into the faces of children (preferably your own) and imagine what they’ll look lke when they’re all grown up… when you are in love with your business you don’t love it for what it is now, but for what it will someday be.
What happens if you’re not in love
You can grow a successful business without love, passion or inspiration, it happens on wall street all the time. But think about it… why would you want to? I heard a great bit of advice on the matter from Phil Libin (the founder of Evernote) while attending one of my Founder Institute classes. He said don’t become an entrepreneur to get rich, there are easier things to get rich doing, instead be an entrepreneur because you want to change the world and create amazing things.
So you can go ahead in a loveless business, heck you can go ahead in a loveless marriage – but what’s the point? What’s your end goal?
If you ask people why they want to be rich and delve into the answer deeply enough it always comes back to one reason: because they want to be happy. You can be building a business you love and be happy while doing it, even if you’re eating ramen and sleeping on a friends couch – or you can build a business because you want money that you don’t love, in hopes that when you get rich you’ll finally be able to do what makes you happy.
Think about it… and if you realize your as in love with your start up as I am with mine then lock lips with it and get busy (like with work, get busy working… perv).
Do you love your business? If yes, what do you love about it? If not, why?