start a business without losing yourself

Five and a half years ago I started Cubicle Ninjas and I poured my soul into every action, ever so gleefully. Living eighteen hour days, within seven day work weeks, was not only expected, but to dream otherwise began to feel downright selfish. This absolute obsession (along with a brilliant creative team and oodles of luck) provided the momentum we needed to survive and grow into a thriving studio. This year I decided to take a breath. And when my eyes adjusted to sunlight I had a creepy…

The bank called again the other day. They keep trying to give us more credit. When I went to the LAUNCH conference, the land of start-ups, all I heard was people angling for investment. Exhibitors would ask other exhibitors if they’d had any meetings, or wonder with frustration where all of the VC-money was. We were stopped by multiple investors about funding…and we let them know we weren’t interested in outside capital. We live in a world that is eager to borrow, but slow to produce value. All I…

singlefounderwithtrainingwheels

I was having a chat with two other gentlemen at the eMarketing Association conference (eM13) this evening when I noticed something: we were all single founders with training wheels. What’s that? Read on. The data shows that single founders fail the hardest when launching a new business. Paul Graham, the respected serial entrepreneur, even goes as far as labeling it the #1 reason start-ups fail. According to him: What’s wrong with having one founder? To start with, it’s a vote of no confidence. It probably means the founder couldn’t talk…

So I was sprinting towards the train when it became clear that I’d lost. The stupid thing was early, and my only choice was to glare at the metal wall that had SHOOSHED in front of me. I just wanted was to get onboard and go to work. I loved designing for my company, and even an hour break from it made me mad. The vengeful train was stopped now, taunting me, as it let eager commuters in on the other side. As I stood there stewing I…