In listening to another entrepreneurial podcast yesterday, (I love venture voice, which to me represents the future of media..extremely targeted niche shows, but that’s for another post) I heard yet another tale of the importance of building a good team. David O. Sacks was a founding member of Paypal, the world’s largest online payment service, which was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.
Ok, I”ll admit that I stole that title from the incredible book written by Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, but the truth is that is the perfect way to describe how I’m feeling now. I have a lot of interesting things going on, as usual, but I still have held myself back from pouring into anyone in particular. I have to wonder , why? Am I afraid? Maybe I’m afraid of failure? The crazy thing is that the only thing preventing me from having and doing what I want is me. So why am I blocking me?
As I begin work on what possibly could be my 4th attempt at company building, I begin to ask myself all the questions again, “what the hell am I doing?,” “why haven’t any of the others turned out as I’d hoped?,” “Am I just running from something?” I have to say that I can beat myself up pretty good for pouring so much into the previous ventures, and then just pretty much abandoning them. The truth is, this is harder than it looks. It’s difficult to pull ideas out of the air and push them into a working thing in this world, but man it sure is fun.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about choices. I think that there are a lot of things in my life, that I just assume I must do or accept. I’ve also heard a lot of people say “I wish I could BUT,” or “I can’t.” It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling to seemingly be out of options. Read More…
I watched a show yesterday that reaffirmed my belief in congruence or alignment. “American Made,” a show on CNBC covers company founders and their stories (a topic I could seriously watch 24 hours a day, CNBC think about it…I’m not the only one). Anyway last night’s story covered a man who was a college drop out, a major hippie, and a philosophy major who NEVER took a business class or even an interest in business. After dropping out of college at the age of 23, he decided to open a grocery store because he loved food and thought it would be fun “to play store owner” for a little while. As a store owner he was able to do things exactly as he wanted, free of outside pressure to “maximize profits (not that their is anything wrong with that)” he operated a store that treated employees at “partners,” offered the finest organic foods (which tasted better and usually came from local growers), and was filled with fun and excitement that reflected his personality. He was able to pour his beliefs and values into this company, hiding nothing, holding nothing back, and always working on the things that made him happy. The result? Whole Foods is now a $10 billion dollar company with sales of nearly $5 billion this year. If you had invested $10,000 into the stock in 1995, your stake would be worth $148,000 today. Not too shabby, and I believe it all comes down to the founder, John Mackey’s personality…he wasn’t looking for a $10 billion company, but with alignment comes growth.
I never really thought the consequences of writing on here would be anything other than securing my nerdy place in the world, and locking away some thoughts forever. I have been pleasantly surprised with the feedback from family and friends. It really is more of a discussion than just me writing and other people reading. There are a million ways to look at things, and everyone seems to have their own way, so it’s a win-win situation when people get to read how I’m looking at things, and I get to hear their perspective on the matter. I believe that the discussion facilitates growth, and growth of course is good for everyone. I appreciate all the comments and tolerance for my ramblings.