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This is what a blessing feels like
Would you rather wander through the desert or drink from a fire hose?
One of the reasons I’m drawn to startups is the built-in sense of purpose. When every action you take impacts the life or death of your enterprise, you matter. And in my experience, that sense of responsibility brings out the best in people. I believe that humans were designed to flourish in their work and see again and again how people who were otherwise lost find themselves in their work. As it turns out, working in a fully-aligned team of talented people can be motivating and fun.
Working at a start-up, however, doesn’t always feel this way. Often, it feels more like wandering in the desert. You have a loose idea of the vision you want to accomplish but struggle to find a viable business model. Or maybe you’ve found a business model that is not working, and you only have six months of cash left in the bank. Tackling these existential questions is vital but also can be anxiety-inducing. Humans just aren’t wired for uncertainty.
It feels like drinking from a fire hose when things start to work. You suddenly have so much to do that you don’t have time to relax. You get to the end of the day and feel completely wiped. Then, you get up the next day and do it over again. Living this way can also be quite overwhelming, and clearly, this is not a great place to be in the long term. That said, whenever I end up here, I tell myself: “This is what a blessing feels like.”
A business exists to serve. When you are overwhelmed by customer appetite, there’s a good chance that your customers want what you’re serving. That means your business is inching away from death and into life. It’s the difference between going to bed exhausted and not being able to sleep at night. Let’s name it for what it is: a blessing.