Focus your energy on a market for which you have enduring passion
Straight from the fingers of Eric Ingram:
Entrepreneurs: The most important lesson I want you to take away from this, is to focus your energy on a market for which you have “enduring passion”. The kind that will keep pushing you when things get tough, as they inevitably will.
I could not agree more.
In fact that exact experience was what got me started on the path of Fearless Entrepreneur some 3-4 years ago.
They were projects that “made sense”, logically. The first was a about combining collaboration with publishing. Sort-of a “Basecamp meets CMS” type of thing. It “made sense” because I’d just finished building the CMS that powered Greenpeace.org as well as the intranet that Greenpeace used globally. Publishing and collaboration. (The Greenpeace intranet, btw, was one of the very first Rails application in production outside of Basecamp, we were very early adopters.)
So combining the two seemed logical, and my business partner had this collaboratively run online magazine known as boxesandarrows.com. And she was well-connected in the valley, and so I figured this was my ticket to fame and fortune.
But reality had it differently, and it ended up being way harder and not working out anywhere near the way I’d fantasized about. Plus nine hours of time zone difference and we both had our first baby. Uphill battle. And so since I didn’t have any particular passion about this, apart from the passion for fame and fortune, when it was clear that it wasn’t ever going to go anywhere, and another opportunity came knocking, I jumped ship.
Then I did Dusørjob, which also seemed like a great way to get rich - great concept, well-thought-out, three co-founders, one with startup management experience, another with deep market understanding, a great distribution channel already contracted, easy to develop, we were all geographically close to each other.
Everything looked great in theory. But again, reality intervened. The market didn’t embrace our product (and it still to this day seems like the idea hasn’t caught on), the co-founder with market understanding abandoned us, and it just didn’t work. This time it took me only 6 months to give up. So a lot less time wasted. But still a waste of time.
That’s when I decided that the next thing I was going to work on was going to be my own idea, or at least something I was genuinely passionate about. Something I’d work on even if there was no money involved.
That thing, for me, is fearless entrepreneurship. Bringing out the diamonds in people. Seeing people shine. Take ownership of what makes them unique and great. And share that with the world, unapologetically, and in a way that gets them the financial rewards they deserve.