When The Hard Part Is Over

30 11 2007

It’s been a period of intense change lately for me personally.

It’s hard to move somewhere new blindly. But you get settled, you meet new and fun people, your network grows, the uncomfortable moments decrease, and suddenly everything starts coming into place.

It’s hard to get a product launched. But you get some positive press and attention, you make important new connections, your user base grows, you get funding, and suddenly everything starts coming into place.

But the next question is, what do you do when the hard part is over?

I’ve got news for you: this isn’t the hard part.

And if it REALLY is the hard part, you’re probably not like me. Continuing to advance when you’re no longer driven by external factors like being stranded in a strange city or driving towards a launch is more difficult for me, more necessary for reminders to keep your internal drive.

One of the my favorite things about the San Francisco (largely, the city life) and Silicon Valley mentality is that people are like me, they don’t find the start to be the hard part. The most successful people here love the start, love the process, love the life. Boredom is when none of the excitement exists. It isn’t about one time sprints. It’s a marathon, but it consists of several sprints throughout.

If I were a VC, I would want to fund entrepreneurs that understand this. It can degrade into hyperactivity, so it is important to point out that creating artificial excitement, “hard parts” is not healthy towards building a long-term success. You must go through the real hard part or as Seth Godin call it, “the Dip”.

The sprints are the most exciting parts, but that’s not the hard part – it’s the hours of keeping a strong and steady pace in between that are the most grueling. And it’s your pace in between that makes or breaks the marathon.

Only the superhuman can maintain a sprinter’s pace throughout. It’s generally not healthy to keep a sprinter’s pace for too long. Drive is keeping a strong pace at all times. Wisdom is adjusting quickly between a sprint and a steady, but strong pace.

So if you’re like me: when the hard part is over, remember the hard part is not the hard part. Avoiding getting settled, too complacent is the hard part – it’s a trap that even the very best fall into.

I’ll report back if I feel the same in the future.




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