After 9 months in my new startup, I’m anxious. I’m looking forward to seeing results and the first sale because after months of talking to people within our target market, my 2 co-founders and I believe that we have finally figured out what our Minimum Viable Product will be… and we have a TON of people that are demanding that we build it… and on top of that, we also have people interested in investing too! Nine months ago we never could have imagined being where we are today… but this brings us to an awkward stage in the life of a startup… a stage where we are living “Between Now & Then…” Between the present, where we are today (with an idea and a few Powerpoint slides) and where we want to go, the future (becoming a profitable company).
Nine months ago after I would talk with potential customers I felt like my head was being hit into a wall with responses such as, “well, I don’t know if I’d use this type of tool, I might try it but I don’t know…” Now, however after changing the idea twice, each meeting ends with the typical response of “this is amazing, you need to talk to so-and-so about this… I’ll set up a meeting for you two because they need to hear about this… You need to build this… I can’t wait to get my hands on this!” What a contrast! I wish I could bottle up my excitement after each meeting and show you what it feels like!
However, amidst all of this excitement, the most difficult thing for me has been to focus on living in the “now” instead of the “then” of what this could become… because to be honest, even after talking to so many people, we really have no guarantees that this will work. But that is really what a startup is all about… searching for a sustainable & scalable business model. Searching is fun, but searching can be a lot of work!
Falling prey to a “Get rich quick” mentality and needing instant results can be easy, but if we are talking about something that could add tremendous value to your life, it is rare that these things will be easy & instantaneous… there’s no such thing as an no easy job, easy startup or even easy relationship… each takes a lot work, time and a stretching of yourself to a point that you might have thought previously impossible. Amidst all of this, we find ourselves living between the present “now” and the “then” of where we want to be someday. What we do in that period will tell more about us than all of our premeditated ideas of how we think we would handle success someday. It’s in those quiet, normal moments that true character and resolve are formed… and that is the substance of amazing stories.
The Bible puts it this way in Ecclesiastes 3:1-2: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,” so amidst every activity in life, there is a purpose for the waiting.
Think of something that you are currently waiting on… something that is captivating your time & thoughts. What would it look like to turn your attention aside from the future and instead live in the “now,” and enjoy every single moment, living life to the fullest, taking advantage of every available opportunity? Waiting helps us move forward with new ideas… after all, new ideas, new businesses and new relationships are all formed out of the “margin” time in our lives, and if we are constantly busy “doing” instead of “being,” it is hard to have margin for anything new.
Take full advantage of the margin and waiting.