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Finding joy in being a first-time founder

I remember being asked multiple times, “Are you sure you want to do this?”, and I felt compelled, as always, to answer “yes” or “no”. After all, that’s what was expected of me. I had worked on a number of projects before, but this was my first startup that I had co-founded, and planned to take to the top. So that’s what the people asking wanted. A definite answer to know whether or not founding a company and the trials and tribulations that come with it, is something I want. It’s asked without realizing such a complex question surely deserves an answer with explanation. They had done it before, and they knew what the journey entailed. So for them, I guess, it was in fact a yes or no question.

But without hesitation, I answered yes, every time. Because the thing is, I know I want it, I know I’m beyond excited and absolutely love what I’m doing. At the same time, I also know I’m terrified, have a lot to learn, and feel like I’m in for a hell of a roller coaster ride.

A lot of seasoned people (both in and outside of the industry) have quite an ironic and interesting knack for saying, “Well how do you know that you want it, if you’ve never experienced it?”. It’s a valid question and my only answer is, I know exactly what I don’t want it to be and to me, that’s a great place to start. It may sound ridiculous, but building your own startup is comparable to having a child in a certain amount of ways (parents, I mean this in a very loose way but hang tight and read on). And when I opened this paragraph, I’m sure (for some of you) it’s the first thing you thought of. For others, it may have been drugs, sex, or nothing. But to a lot of individuals, a child.

Someone having a child for the first time has no idea what they’re getting into and what the future holds, but they do know they don’t want their child to fail or become an asshole — bottom line. They know what they’re getting into is life changing, they’re nervous and there’s a certain responsibility that comes with the act.

The future of any living thing is paved by the time, effort and care you put into it. It’s molded by learned behavior based on your actions. You work hard to ensure it’s life is the most successful in every way, even if that means time in the middle of the night because something “isn’t going well”. If it succeeds, you take pride in it, and if it fails, it’s your responsibility as well. You turn to your inner circle for help and advice, and sometimes consult outside sources when things aren’t going according to plan, but that’s okay too. Anything to help, because you just don’t give up without trying.

If there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves… — Ben Horowitz

In the end, I know what I want for my life and future. I don’t know what being a co-founder holds for me (who the hell does?) or what the future of Liberio will be, but I do know I’m excited for it, I believe in it, and I want to work to ensure it succeeds. It always comes down to wanting to be there, wanting to work toward a certain goal, and not giving up until you reach it. Will this guarantee a successful future? No. But if anything, the exhaustion, sweat and tears in doing so is where the best lessons are learned and where the most well-rounded child blossoms.

Would love to hear other founder (and to-be founder) stories. If you liked it, be sure to give it a share. Also, if you’re up for it, let’s chat about it on Twitter.