I’ve always hated the term “do what you love”.
Not sure why it’s grated on me but I’ve always found it trite. It’s too pretty a package for how messy and hard startup life actually is.
But, a few quotes last week have me warming to it.
I found the first floating in a sea of Steve Jobsisms:
The problem with the Internet startup craze isn’t that too many people are starting companies; it’s that too many people aren’t sticking with it. That’s somewhat understandable, because there are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations. That’s when you find out who you are and what your values are.
I found the second in my BYU Almni magazine of all places, this one from Mark Zuckerberg
If you don’t completely love and believe in what you’re doing, it actually ends up being the rational thing for you to stop doing it or succumb to some of the challenges, because there will be huge challenges.
The founding principles of Facebook are that if people have access to moreinformation and can be more connected, then that will hopefully make the world better, right? It will make it so that people can have more empathy, can develop and maintain more relationships; they’ll have more understanding; they’ll have access to more information that they want. And that’s really the guiding principle for me. And on hard days I really just kind of step back, and that’s the thing that keeps me going.
Building a company is hard.
That’s why we celebrate the few that succeed. We hold them up as role models, cite decisions they’ve made as visionary and discuss how they’ve changed the world in hushed tones.
The reality is every one of these entrepreneurs could have quit, wanted to quit maybe even should have quit when things got tough. And things do get tough. They get so tough you will doubt everything about yourself right down to your sanity.
But creating the narrative for loving what you do, no matter how you articulate it, can be sustaining in the face of such monumental doubt.
And in our current age of startups as pop culture, that’s a sustaining sentiment I can get behind.