Archive | May 2011

How My Startup Pushed Me To The Edge : Lifestyle :: American Express OPEN Forum

How My Startup Pushed Me To The Edge

May 17, 2011

I’m not one of those entrepreneurs who had an idea and then was able to execute it instantaneously; It took me two-and-a-half years just to launch JackThreads, the private sale website for men’s clothing that I founded. Once I got the company off the ground, it completely consumed my life.

Awesome post by Jason over on the Amex Open Forum. Even though I was in NYC, I saw firsthand just how much the business consumed him. I’ve certainly been proud and impressed with what he’s been able to build in terms of Jackthreads, and now an amazing team in the business, but I’d say I’m even more impressed in how Jason evolved as an entrepreneur who is no longer on the life deferment plan.

the wastebasket

A public waste bag in Paris displaying the ins...

Image via Wikipedia


In the men’s bathroom at GA they have paper towels and for a long time the tiniest waste basket.  Despite their best efforts to keep the place very clean, including the bathroom, it was becoming a rare occasion to walk in there and not see the waste basket overflowing with paper towels.  Typically it would overflow, and there would be a bunch of paper towels all over the floor.  It’s amazing how just that one thing would make the bathroom feel dirty, even though it is very clean.  Why not just get a new waste basket, a bigger one that could easily support the daily use?  Because it is one of those things that, although easily fixable, doesn’t really occur to someone until it’s full and by then you just want to fix the immediate problem instead of the “bigger” one.  

I know this is just a little thing, overflowing paper towels and a waste basket, but I realized there are a lot of “small waste basket” problems I put band aids on everyday.  When I saw a new trash can at GA in the bathroom this morning, I had to wonder what those problems were and why I wasn’t looking to fix them in more long term ways.  I think it’s because I’m often too distracted by something else to think about fixing them until they require my immediate attention…and then band aid until I need to address them again.  I bet if GA looked at how much time and effort was expended to clean up the overflowing paper towels off the floor vs just buying a big waste basket from the beginning, they would have opted to buy the bigger can a long, long time ago (I doubt they are thinking about this at all…it’s a trash can). So I guess the question I’m left with, is how do I get better about noticing the “small waste basket” problems in my day to day work? 

(I realize a post about waste baskets is a little odd, but hey the thought struck me this AM so I decided to blog it)


Volume 91

Would You Do What You Do if You Weren’t Getting Paid?

If you aren’t passionate about your business, you are at a severe disadvantage to those who are. Passion gives you the energy to do whatever it takes to become to become great at what you do.

Money Follows Passion, Not the Other Way Around

Start by doing what you love, as well as you can, and money will follow. Best of all, you will be happy to get out of bed each day.

Great, and often forgotten and sometimes very hard to follow words of wisdom. Money follows passion, not the other way around. (of course money can follow lots of things, insecurities, fears, etc)