I have just a few more days of full time employment before I start out on this great new adventure. There have been a few surprises in the last couple weeks having announced my next steps:
1) No one has been skeptical, at least to my face. Ever since Mark Zuckerberg, no one dares doubt the computer-nerd-turned-entrepreneur. Where my parent's generation would have looked down on this new business-minded youngster for 'selling out' and being 'part of the establishment', it seems almost everyone now embraces and even celebrates it. I'm paraphrasing a bit from a great New York Times article about our entrepreneurial generation: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/opinion/sunday/the-entrepreneurial-generation.html?_r=1
2) Opportunities are all around. Since I announced I was leaving full time, I have had 1 full time offer, 3 freelance gigs, and a teaching position offered to me all around apps and health. Turning stuff down is tough, and I haven't turned it all down, but I won't be taking anything that might crowd my creative forces. Then again, I do need to plan for a few breaks. The brain is a multi-tasker after all.
3) I haven't even started yet, and I've already spotted the signs of doubt / fear pop in to my mind. Building a business that asks people to spend minutes of their life using it, or even paying hard earned money to use, is opening yourself up to them. You're saying "here are my ideas, wrapped in my ability to execute, and your life will be better for engaging with it." Even scarier, is the notion that you launch early to get feedback. Get it out, just bare bones without all the frills. Scary. I came across this article by James Altucher just in time: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/03/how-entrepreneurs-can-increase-productivity-by-500/ My biggest take-away from that article is that all negative thoughts, speculation of failure, are not based in reality. These are thoughts that are not useful. If I'm going to go for it, I need to go for it, and use my brain cycles to propel forward.
4) There isn't just one idea and one shot. Possibly the most interesting thing so far is that the only thing I've had to explain about my plan is that I'm not afraid of the first idea not succeeding. My in-laws started up too, with a candy sale business, travel business, baked breads, all before they came to realize their winning business which was a Mexican bakery in East LA. My grandfather also experimented before he eventually created a fabric business in LA that eventually took off. That same old-world business mentality should be followed in the internet entrepreneur world as well. Keep working at it until you find something people like. Tweak (or "pivot") what you're selling until you find what works.
But those are all the surprises. Nothing has changed about my resolve. I'm excited to link my creativity to my financial success, and to build some thing(s) that I believe in and I can call my own.
So, what's the plan? The plan is to start out and make a plan. Then, the plan is to build it. More on that in the next installment.
To friends and family -- thanks for the support.