Why I Want To Be an Entrepreneur
Short and simple: I want to hold a product in my hands and know I’ve created it. Perhaps that’s what is motivating me towards hardware and away from websites. I don’t have a background in design or engineering, but I have spent most of my life around people who create: musicians, composers, artists, and people who calculate: mathematicians, analysts, other entrepreneurs, and financiers. The idea of working for a company I don’t believe in doesn’t just bother me – it terrifies me, and I have a natural urge to make new things.
My main motivation for working used to be money, but now I’m much more driven by the desire to innovate, contribute, and participate. Working on Explorchestra (the orchestra I co-founded in college) and with BizSaves (as startup I interned with) were the best and most productive experiences of my life. We’d get together in small, tight-knit teams, and spend hours upon hours brainstorming, designing, planning, arguing, and ultimately bringing new ideas to life. Then, we’d go out into the wide world and visit places to fundraise; we’d cold-call, email, and research. The coolest and most terrifying thing about the process of creating something new is that it requires a radically different mindset. Getting the spark is the easy part: once you start paying attention to inefficiencies and needs, problems and solutions start popping up everywhere. The hard part comes next: now what? Unlike most experiences I’ve had thus far, nobody is asking concrete questions. In college, I’d be given problem sets with expected answers. At a job, I would be responsible for some small step of a financial production line: calculate the bottom line, create projections for next quarter, call 42 clients. Here, however, nobody at all is telling me what to do.
So, what do we have? Me at the starting line with a head full of ideas to solve a problem I’ve selected, and somewhere far off, a finished product. Along the way, vague benchmarks: a viable prototype, a business plan, a crowdsourcing campaign, manufacturing specs, and so on. In reality, all of this translates to me at my empty desk staring at a computer screen, unsure where to even begin. I always read about entrepreneurs working ridiculous hours, but my question as of now is: what the heck are you working on? Like the product I’m creating, I know the answer is there: everything. Sometime, I’m just overwhelmed with where to even begin. Self-discipline is another issue: I need to set concrete working hours and work them. I think that’ll be a great way to get on track.
I’m planning on keeping you updated throughout the process so that we can both learn from it if I’m fortunate enough to succeed. Whatever difficulties come my way, however, I know that when I read about the many aspects of product creation, from design to marketing to manufacturing to sales, I am inspired to follow. Without any guidelines, the words of the brilliant Jack Sparrow come to mind: “The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do.” Let’s see what I’m capable of.