While reading an excellent article on entrepreneurship, we also noticed a tweet from our friend Luke Wroblewski at the same time. Here's what Luke tweeted:
It's a startup. There will be blood.— Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) July 6, 2012
At first, the tweet made us chuckle. But Luke's tweet and Flowtown co-founder Dan Martell's recent article have hit on something — that when it comes to entrepreneursim, there will be blood.
Not a Career Move
Dan actually makes the argument that entrepreneurism isn't a career move, a pivot when you're midway through one job and you decide, "whelp, I've had enough of this, might as well start my own company."
Even though Dan doesn't come right out and say it, entrepreneurism is a calling, something you are born to do. He does go as far as likening entrepreneurs as artists, people with a passion to create something.
For Dan, it's not about taking risks at the end of the day. No, it's about creating something of value from nothing. Don't get Dan wrong, he's not trying to discourage anyone from being a startup founder. He's just laying all the cards on the table.
For All the Wrong Reasons
We see a lot of people become startup founders for all the wrong reasons. They dream of fame and fortune, getting that huge round of seed funding, that valuation in the millions or that billion-dollar acquisition. And it's hard not to have those aspirations when you see Instagram's meteoric rise before Facebook snatched it up. In other words, these folks have become enamoured by the startup myths and aren't fully prepared for the realities being an entrepreneur really entails.
Remember the dustup over a Quora question on what it's like to be the CEO (or founder) of a startup? Paul DeJoe, founder of Eqcuire, nailed it. He vividly described the sleepless night, lost weekends and the never-ending battle to balance work and an outside life. As Paul says, "Closing a round of financing is not a relief." In other words, it means even more people are counting on you.
Now don't get Paul wrong. He's not whining or victimizing his role as an entrepreneur. Like Dan, he's putting it all on the table, describing the harsh reality that entrepreneurism isn't always glamorous.
There Will Be Blood
Success doesn't happen overnight. As Robert Scoble pointed out at his ZURBsoapbox, it takes time to build a startup. Take Airbnb, which took a 1,000 days to get going. And you have to be a bit quirky and dedicated to make it past 999 days.
When someone says they're building a company, they're usually unique. There's something different about them. And they have an approach like I'm building something of value that should last something deeper than just a cool technology that's going to get bought by Google and flipped.
And that brings us back to Dan's point. True entrepreneurs aren't working solely for the billion-dollar acquisition or the next round of seed funding. They're working to build something, create a product of value that solves a person's problem.
And that passion helps get startup founders through the sleepless nights, the sacrifices that come with dedicating yourself to a higher calling. What will keep you going when you're crammed into a small 300-square-foot office with only one other co-worker or working alone out of your studio apartment eating nothing but Cup O Noodles.
Because when you're a startup founder, there will be blood. Dedication, passion and building something of value will make it all worthwhile. What say you?