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6 Ways I'm Holding Myself Back — and a call for mentors

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Nickhuman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 27, 2017
9
8
31
Bay Area, CA
Hello, I enjoyed reading the top posts so much that I had to create an account an introduce myself. I'm a 26 year old entrepreneur / child of the tech age. I started a few "easy" startups that aren't going anywhere. I've been independent from my parents since 18, but most of my adult years I worked paycheck to paycheck. After a life-changing injury put me on disability, I had an epiphany and changed my career to make $100k+ . Even though I dreamed of working a desk job when I was a kid, in practice it's pretty soul sucking. Everyone reading this can relate, I'm sure. I quit my job and started working on 1) self development and meditation and 2) started a business. But lately I feel misguided—as if I'm swinging at the wrong pitches and wearing myself out.

I'm looking for some honest advice on how I can improve myself and my entrepreneurial endeavors. I know that there are several ways I'm holding myself back. But there's only so much work I can do on my own through meditation or the 3-2-1 shadow process.

So, without further ado, here are the roadblocks to success I've identified:

Aversion to wealth
My biggest life goal is to become one of the highest net worth self-made individuals in the world, yet I flounder when it comes to daily choices. Examples: Turning down high paying jobs because it's not a cultural fit. Backing out of an acquisition because the acquiring company didn't behave rationally. Spending my free time reading about VR/AR and trying to concept an alternative currency that is merit-based. I don't know, perhaps money has hurt me in the past and I need to go to therapy. But this is definitely holding me back from taking a leap.
Furthermore, I feel like I would be morally compromised if I were to do something for making money. If I'm aligned in my purpose, doesn't the money follow? Can my purpose be to make money? What comes after that? There has to be more to life than making money. But I haven't met a good example of a person who values making money at all costs—yet still exemplifies the moral ideals that I believe in.

Waiting for permission
Again, since I don't have a lot of capital at my disposal, I'm applying to a lot of accelerators for a business idea I've had for years. In essence, I'm asking for someone else to fund my idea instead of making it. I know the clear answer to this, but I also know that if I don't earn money soon, I'll have to go back to work. This idea likely won't enough money to pay my bills if I bootstrap it (did a lot of calculations for this). So I haven't started.

Unclear goals
I'm interviewing with companies right now because I need money to live. And that's taking time and energy away from my business. As soon as I go back to work, I end up sidelining my passion project. How do you deal with this and maintain focus?

I've read in Chip & Dan Heath's book (Decisive) that the best decisions are made from multithreading. But I feel like I'm multithreading forever, always zooming out for more and more options. Don't get me wrong, I can make a decision when it comes to making money to survive—but I seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of working a job, quitting to start a company, then looking for work when that company fails.

Sunk cost fallacy
The last idea I picked was in an industry that's very heavily regulated. The best players in the game have tons of money, and new entrants are in a war zone. It's difficult both from a legal and an operational standpoint. I thought we could stand out with branding, but that's not enough. It looks like the more effort I put in, the more I'm distracted from my true idea. But I put a lot of money in this. And to liquidate the physical product, I'll need to put more time and money in to get the word out about a sale. And take a loss. Any other ideas?

Friendship
I've started this business with friends, which makes it even harder to shut it down. I could just say, "It's not personal, it's business," but I mean... it's still personal, right? Feelings will be hurt no matter what I do.

I ask my friends about almost every idea I have. I recently heard a Project Entrepreneur podcast with the founder of Spanx, who revealed that she did not tell anyone about her idea until she already got her first retail account. It dawned on me that well-meaning advice from friends can actually distract me from my goals. But without a peer group to bounce ideas off of, I might not ever have enough conviction to actually build something.

Imposter Syndrome
I am the CEO of my company, with 4 employees. I do not feel qualified for this role, nor do I feel like I have any authority since these are my friends. We don't have a board of directors, and everything about it feels like a cute play-version of a company. But we're playing with real money and transactions. I'm ready to get serious, and I need to meet some smart mentors to point me in the right direction.

I know the first piece of advice I get is to read the book—I downloaded the sample and I'll read it now. I'm also putting it in my Amazon cart. The most valuable part of this forum is meeting new people, so I hope to get started on that while I'm reading. :)
 
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LuckyPup

Done Dicking Around
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Aug 2, 2012
519
825
Midwest USA
Hello, I enjoyed reading the top posts so much that I had to create an account an introduce myself. I'm a 26 year old entrepreneur / child of the tech age. I started a few "easy" startups that aren't going anywhere. I've been independent from my parents since 18, but most of my adult years I worked paycheck to paycheck. After a life-changing injury put me on disability, I had an epiphany and changed my career to make $100k+ . Even though I dreamed of working a desk job when I was a kid, in practice it's pretty soul sucking. Everyone reading this can relate, I'm sure. I quit my job and started working on 1) self development and meditation and 2) started a business. But lately I feel misguided—as if I'm swinging at the wrong pitches and wearing myself out.

I'm looking for some honest advice on how I can improve myself and my entrepreneurial endeavors. I know that there are several ways I'm holding myself back. But there's only so much work I can do on my own through meditation or the 3-2-1 shadow process.

So, without further ado, here are the roadblocks to success I've identified:

Aversion to wealth
My biggest life goal is to become one of the highest net worth self-made individuals in the world, yet I flounder when it comes to daily choices. Examples: Turning down high paying jobs because it's not a cultural fit. Backing out of an acquisition because the acquiring company didn't behave rationally. Spending my free time reading about VR/AR and trying to concept an alternative currency that is merit-based. I don't know, perhaps money has hurt me in the past and I need to go to therapy. But this is definitely holding me back from taking a leap.
Furthermore, I feel like I would be morally compromised if I were to do something for making money. If I'm aligned in my purpose, doesn't the money follow? Can my purpose be to make money? What comes after that? There has to be more to life than making money. But I haven't met a good example of a person who values making money at all costs—yet still exemplifies the moral ideals that I believe in.

Waiting for permission
Again, since I don't have a lot of capital at my disposal, I'm applying to a lot of accelerators for a business idea I've had for years. In essence, I'm asking for someone else to fund my idea instead of making it. I know the clear answer to this, but I also know that if I don't earn money soon, I'll have to go back to work. This idea likely won't enough money to pay my bills if I bootstrap it (did a lot of calculations for this). So I haven't started.

Unclear goals
I'm interviewing with companies right now because I need money to live. And that's taking time and energy away from my business. As soon as I go back to work, I end up sidelining my passion project. How do you deal with this and maintain focus?

I've read in Chip & Dan Heath's book (Decisive) that the best decisions are made from multithreading. But I feel like I'm multithreading forever, always zooming out for more and more options. Don't get me wrong, I can make a decision when it comes to making money to survive—but I seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of working a job, quitting to start a company, then looking for work when that company fails.

Sunk cost fallacy
The last idea I picked was in an industry that's very heavily regulated. The best players in the game have tons of money, and new entrants are in a war zone. It's difficult both from a legal and an operational standpoint. I thought we could stand out with branding, but that's not enough. It looks like the more effort I put in, the more I'm distracted from my true idea. But I put a lot of money in this. And to liquidate the physical product, I'll need to put more time and money in to get the word out about a sale. And take a loss. Any other ideas?

Friendship
I've started this business with friends, which makes it even harder to shut it down. I could just say, "It's not personal, it's business," but I mean... it's still personal, right? Feelings will be hurt no matter what I do.

I ask my friends about almost every idea I have. I recently heard a Project Entrepreneur podcast with the founder of Spanx, who revealed that she did not tell anyone about her idea until she already got her first retail account. It dawned on me that well-meaning advice from friends can actually distract me from my goals. But without a peer group to bounce ideas off of, I might not ever have enough conviction to actually build something.

Imposter Syndrome
I am the CEO of my company, with 4 employees. I do not feel qualified for this role, nor do I feel like I have any authority since these are my friends. We don't have a board of directors, and everything about it feels like a cute play-version of a company. But we're playing with real money and transactions. I'm ready to get serious, and I need to meet some smart mentors to point me in the right direction.

I know the first piece of advice I get is to read the book—I downloaded the sample and I'll read it now. I'm also putting it in my Amazon cart. The most valuable part of this forum is meeting new people, so I hope to get started on that while I'm reading. :)

Welcome, Nick and thanks for sharing your thoughts. My two cents, for what it's worth (and it's not without irony):

1) Be careful seeking mentors, especially online. Opinions are like assholes: everybody has them and most stink, despite what their owners think.
2) Only take career advice from someone with whom you'd gladly change places.
3) Money didn't "hurt you." Money is merely an object, a tool, and amplifier of the person who has it, or doesn't. Change your attitude toward money.

Again, welcome and all the best to you!
 

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