Monday, June 30, 2008

Business Stress

Many moons ago, I vaguely discussed some things I was doing for my new business on my blog and one of our advisers (a local Angel Investor). Quickly came back to us and said no one can breathe a word about your company until you launch! (He'd set up a Google Alert on the name of the company.) Since then I've been pretty close mouthed. Mostly talking about the affects of working 10-12 hours a day six days a week, rather than what's causing me to work 10-12 hours. Unfortunately I'm still basically under a gag order, so I won't be getting into any specifics even today, that said here's what's going on.

We got some really good news recently. Something which could turn out to be the best opportunity for the business we've had yet. The problem is that, as you can imagine with great opportunity comes great cost. To counter balance that we've reached a "good place" with our fund-raising, the problem is that we really expected to reach this specific "good place" six to eight months ago, which means that it's almost too late for it to be good news anymore... When you combine all these factor's we're basically balanced on a knife's edge. On the one hand things could very easily go incredibly well, better than we thought. On the other hand the risk of the smoke clearing and having nothing to show for my time but a mountain of debt is also high (or in any case a lot higher than I would like, i.e. > 0).

The idea of finding your raison d'etre, of chasing your dreams, of daring big so that you can win big is a relatively recent phenomenon I think. At least in the arena of your career. Oh sure, it was not entirely unknown, but certainly this concept that everyone should be able to chase their dreams did not exist during the Great Depression or the World Wars, in fact it is probably something which only started gaining traction in the 80's. Of course I am a child of the 80's, so this idea has a particular hold in my psyche. But I'm a realist and I understand that not all dreams come true, and so the question of how deep I should dig myself is something I'm acutely aware of. Do I throw everything I have at the business, to adapt a phrase by George Bernard Shaw, does a true entrepreneur let his wife starve, his children go barefoot, his mother drudge for his living at seventy, sooner than work at anything but his business?

Or do I pick a point and say I won't risk everything? If I get to the point where I start running a balance on my credit cards that's too much? Obviously a substantial majority of people think nothing of carrying a credit card balance, so I would think that my ambitions or worth at least that much risk. So, yeah, I suspect that the point is somewhere between those two extremes, but if anything that makes it more difficult. Because it means in addition to everything else I have to continue thinking about that question, and as long as I don't know the answer how am I going to know when I'm past the point? Any wisdom would be appreciated...

How soon can I put my kids to work in the local factory?


Blogger aozora said...

Think about it from the investor's point of view for a moment. You have money but no way to make it but on the shoulders of the creative. Why invest your money in any organization that won't make a death pact with the business plan?

Now, from your own view, why accept the advice of someone who has money but no creativity?

Bad match. Get a new negotiator.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Ed said...

It´s never too early for "Take Your Kid to Work Day." I suggest the Sugar Mines.

10:20 AM  

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