Barry Thornton spoke at the latest bootstrap austin get together and he was absolutely profound. In an entertaining fashion covered topics on business, money, relationships, and life. Many of his topics I have thought about before on different levels. One topic in particular is a constant battle for myself and I imagine many others.
I can't fully quote him, but it went something like - separate yourself from the need for money and you are truly free. For most of my life I didn't understand the addiction to money that afflicts so many. I think it was a luxury afforded to me by being raised with no money. Without being able to enjoy nice "things" we learned to enjoy ourselves anyhow. I could build a fort in 3 afternoons that would rival the Hyatt. Then I landed my first high-paying job and I began to understand the addiction, though I refused to succumb. It's so easy to expand your standard of living to meet, or exceed as most retailers would have you, your earnings. Being very susceptible to suggestion and marketing, I have become all too aware of the pressures on us as consumers. But if you're not happy, the money loses all its value. We live in a land of incredible freedom.....so why do we act as though we are ruled by money?
Greenling Organics received its first round of investment, in the form of convertible debt, and should last us to profitability........should. First major investment I've received for anything. I'm trying to relish these days because I'm told that once I become "successful" I will look back at these days as the best. Once I have 20 employees and handbooks and manuals and "policies" it won't quite be the same. We'll see.
One thing for sure is that receiving the investment changed my mindset in ways I didn't fully comprehend beforehand. There was certainly some celebration and a couple of deep breaths, but I also felt an incredible drive take root. I never realized that this act of raising money that everyone talks about like cooking breakfast or buying a car instills a keen responsibility to deliver on your promise to your investors. You're not just risking your own skin anymore. You have convinced someone that you're so bright and your company has such a great concept that they have given you their hard-earned money. Whether they're a mechanic or a billionaire, you can only assume they have earned that money through hard work and are now entrusting it to you for growth. That, I say, is more compelling than any self-serving motivation.
This is old news to many.....but they never mentioned it to me before.
So I'm driven. Currently burning almost $10k/month. Driven. And loving it. Biggest challenge of my life and it's the most fun I've ever had.