The Porch

Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair

Wake Up. Sleep Tight.

A recent NYTimes DealB%k article asked, “What gets you up in the morning?” The author, Tony Schwartz, discussed spending days at two corporations and observing a critical difference between the two.

The first nameless corporation hosted a dinner void of energy and passion. Employees at the second company, Google, were thrilled, energetic and excited to work. From what I’ve heard the Google campus is an inspiring place and I don’t doubt that those who have the opportunity to work there do thoroughly enjoy its many perks.

For most entrepreneurs or founders, though, the waking up in the morning isn’t the hard part. They begin companies/organizations with exuberance and passion. It could be for the love of an idea, belief in a product or the need to make a dollar. It could be for the chance to live freely working long hours on what one chooses even when the benefits aren’t readily visible.

Striking out on your own is often like walking on a tightrope. It's a risk requiring balance and skill.

Striking out on your own is often like walking on a tightrope. It’s a risk requiring balance and skill.

So no, it’s not the getting up. It’s the going to sleep that becomes the problem. When the end of the day happens, which often runs into the beginning of the next, many folks who have chosen what they love find that, to quote Rose Royce, “sleep don’t come easy … boy please believe me.”

Many worry about keeping the dream career or project moving while maintaining a solid standard of living. In a documentary titled “That Guy … Who Was In That Thing” actors waxed romantically on the thrill of the stage while recalling many rough and tough times. That life script goes over much better for artists. Musicians, dancers and actors can get away with things that business owners typically can’t.

Very few bookkeepers, organizers or home-based chefs are afforded the time to go through the difficult development cycles without someone saying, often in hushed tones, “why don’t you just go get a job?” Do you really think they haven’t thought of that? Most have worked jobs that others wouldn’t dare dream of in order to keep doing the work that gets them up in the morning. Answering that question without venom can take some skill.

Moving from being motivated and passionate to becoming secure and comfortable is critical to the journey for many self-starters. Yes, they wake up – fired up and ready to go.  Then they stay up for what sometimes seems like days on end. They reorder their lives in their heads over and over looking for a workable solution that’s fair to them and their families until finally one more second awake isn’t possible.

Schwartz discusses leaving his journalism career behind for one that sustains and rewards him daily. That part is easy to understand for those who have struck out on their own. But walking the tight rope, finding oneself in the middle with no net can be daunting. Being deliberate about the day becomes even more critical as self-starters seek to simply have a week’s peace without worry.

Access to capital, adequate training on how to make grow that capital and developing management skills are key sleep aids. Networking with people who understand the end goals and sustain owners is also key. Those are just a few necessary skills that could help the passionate builders grow solid enterprises.

We believe in our vision. We will get up. Mr. Schwartz. But for now, sing us a lullaby.

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