Inside the mind of an Entrepreneur

Inside the mind of an Entrepreneur

If I Succeed, This Will Be Why; If I Fail, The Same

I need to level with you and share my perspective.

I want to be transparent so you (if you care to) can understand what I'm attempting to say.

I spent about three months feeling a bit lost after leaving my last company.

It's not that I'm emotional about leaving what I built; I didn't see it as my "baby" like many entrepreneurs do. It's also not that I don't care because "it's all about the money."

The truth is, I spent seven years fully devoted to building, and building is what I do.

So after leaving, it was rough.

I am a builder, and that's it. I build, test, break, learn. I do that on repeat. I wouldn't say I'm "happy" doing that or unhappy. It just is that way.

I am endlessly curious, to a fault.

My brain does not stop building, testing, breaking, and learning from what I just broke.

If there is nothing to build, I find something. If I don't find something, I start breaking things that probably shouldn't be broken.

It has taken a long time to learn that I am not like "everyone else" and don't need to be. Everyone is a LOT of people, so it's not even realistic to think that way.

I started 1023 Diesel AFTER spending several years and thousands of hours learning about a technology I had no intent to sell. I just wanted to understand it. There is no entrepreneurial genius in that, nor is there any real foresight.

MAYBE it's true that other first-time entrepreneurs were clever enough to know how to build something big; maybe it's not. I don't know the answer to that.

Whichever you believe (or want to believe), most business influencers you have heard who built something great try to teach how you can be just like them.

The problem is, many of these people did (or do) something by chance, did something illegal or immoral, or, oh by the way, they have a genius-level IQ.

I have no idea as I write this from my chilly, unfinished, poorly lit basement what the future holds.

I don't know if I'll be rich and famous or poor and unknown, or for how long each of those will last.

I don't know if I will be loved and revered or hated and despised, or how long each of those will last.

I know that whatever the result my timeline brings, I have two driving traits:

  • Obsessive curiosity
  • Unconditional empathy

If I succeed, this will be why; if I fail, the same.

I don't want you to have my traits, and I'm not here to convince you they are better. They come with some major downsides.

My hope is that through talking about them, you will be able to learn to identify your own traits and play to your strengths so you can minimize your weaknesses. I also hope you understand the lens through which I see the world, so the things I say come across the way I intend or, at the very least, don't cause unintended harm.

How Much Is Enough?

Amassing resources will not make you happy, but they will bring you out of poverty, and poverty is a painful place to be. I've been there.

When I started my last company, I had a negative net worth.

I had $6,000 saved, $10,000 in debt, and when I quit my oilfield job to go full-time, my company was only able to pay a $40,000 a year salary.

I can't say exactly how much, and it doesn't matter for the point, but over the seven years building the company, I paid off my debt and my net worth increased by hundreds of thousands.

Yet nothing really changed.

I got access to a new tier of people with higher incomes, and they lived how I expected.

They drive nicer cars and have nicer houses. They have boats and airplanes and go on vacations. Mostly, they seem happy.

So for a while, I tried mimicking them because I thought that was what you are supposed to do.

But how much is enough?

When I couldn't afford things, I thought I wanted them. And once I could afford them, I didn't care anymore.

So if I'm not an extravagant spender, I must just be a tightwad. It has to be one or the other, right?

I think the truth is we don't HAVE to be either of those things.

If you have resources (money) and use them because you enjoy what they bring, then you are doing it right. But if you are only using them to buy status and are miserable, you're doing it wrong.

If you have resources and don't use them because your enjoyment comes from the work that earns them, then you are doing it right. But if you endlessly save for the sole purpose of having more and you are miserable, you're doing it wrong.

Your path is your path, and my path is mine. The more we understand that success has little to do with money or validation, the better off we all are.