And it’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times, this working for yourself. I’m the one who sets the rules, the expectations, the hours, the results.
But from the outside-in, the unnerving aspect of any self-declared venture is this: the isolation is warm, cozy, and self-affirming. The longer I work in my tree-top office, crunching the investment and cash-flow numbers, crafting business summaries and plans, perfecting presentations, chatting with a number of targeted partners, something strange happens. Shaky confidence turns to insecure arrogance. Good judgment shifts under megalomaniacal pressure. Cravings for feedback deepen, yet the conditions to share lessen and the rules to listen grow in number and rigidity. Inspiring people morphs to pushing people, lest they forget.
And this is all explained in a singular delusional phrase: I know I’m right.
Not believe. Not feel. I know. True, hard, indisputable fact tangled in my brain, incessantly driving me to the next sunrise.
Is this passion? The depth of joy and pain, the moments of surprise and frustration, is all one-sided. it may better be described as insanity. Pygmalion scorned all other women, all those fallible corporate gigs that provide steady benefits, comforts, and security – and fell hopelessly in love with his own sculpted creation. Isn’t this the story of every bootstrapping entrepreneur?
Pygmalion’s myth ends happily – Aphrodite grants the stony figure warm-blooded life more than a decade after it’s inception, affirming it’s beauty (and resemblance to herself). Another parallel to the entrepreneur, though this one with the infusion of cold hard cash following affirmation of its potential. We’ve happily celebrated this delusion for multiple millennia, and to date, it shows little sign of decline.
This only affirms my own arrogance, of course. A dangerous thing, but an essential component to push this big idea of mine to its full potential.
Maybe it will make it. Maybe it won’t. But somehow, some way, I’ll inspire someone to affirm it’s beauty, it’s intelligence, and it’s power – and grant it life.