The other night, my friend Ricky and I were discussing our mutual interest in startups when he asked me something along the lines of “Why are you an entrepeneur?”
I gave some sort of vague answer at the time about how I liked helping people and just couldn’t see myself not having the creative flexibility that working for myself allows, but the question has been on my mind, because that answer felt very wishy-washy to me. I’m sure a lot of people love helping others, but have little-to-no interest in entrepreneurship. And sure, plenty of jobs allow plenty of creativity. So, what is it then?
To preface my answer, I highly recommend checking out this illustrated poem. In this comic, a young man sets out for Ithaka, full of excitement and ready to explore all Ithaka has to offer. Along the way, he experiences strife, adventure, challenges, and everything in between. He meets somebody special and she joins him as he finally reaches Ithaka, now an old man. He has a daughter, and as he approaches death, draws a map from Ithaka to Troy, where his journey began, signaling that life’s treasure is actually in Troy, not Ithaka where he believed it was when the story began.
The point of this poem is to illustrate that for the protagonist, the journey to Ithaka was the destination, rather than Ithaka itself. In a similar way, I feel that the journey of creating a successful business, for me at least, is not so much about the business I end up with in the end, but the things I do every day that build up to it.
It’s easy for me to forget why I started Panoplay sometimes. On days when only one person visits the website, or days when it seems like I’m the only one who really cares about what I’m doing, it’s easy to get discouraged. But those failures are part of the adventure; if I didn’t have these failures, the successes I eventually have wouldn’t seem nearly as spectacular.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” ~ Winston Churchill
I have no idea what tomorrow holds for me, and I guess that’s why I love what I do so much. Every day is a new adventure.