After being invited to write on Medium.com, I’ve been experimenting with their platform.
I just published an article there that I think you might enjoy and find valuable. It’s about one of my biggest troubles right now — something I’ve been struggling with recently.
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When I first decided to become an entrepreneur, I didn’t know I was becoming one. All I knew was I didn’t want to be held back by office politics anymore and that I could build something of my own faster than most.
So, I jumped off the corporate cliff, and, amidst many mistakes, I rocked it.
What I didn’t know was how much of a problem “rocking it” would become later on…
The stories of entrepreneurs are wracked with tales of trouble and triumph. Some Davids go up against their Goliath and win, while others fail and fall into obscurity. Some battles have long been settled (like Foursquare versus Gowalla), while others are still ongoing (like Apple versus Google / Amazon / Samsung / almost everyone).
Viktor Frankl describes this in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, using an example taken from architecture. He says the way to strengthen a weak and decrepit arch is by “increasing the load which is laid upon it, for thereby the parts are joined more firmly together.”
Frankl was referring to the creative tension that gives us the strength to face both professional and personal challenges in our lives.
As entrepreneurs, we need creative tension to drive our continuous search for progress and meaning.
Without creative tension and putting our backs against the wall, would the greatest creations exist today?
I’ve heard the same story countless times, in conversation with friends, reading a book, or listening to a speaker. Projects have a knack of finally taking off only at the last moment, when everything is on the line.
- When the team behind the iPod brought the original prototype to Steve Jobs, he threw it into a fish tank. Bubbles came up, proving his belief that there was still space inside the device that could be diminished.
- Guy Laliberté hit the streets with his accordion and stilts for years before he took his big gamble. In 1987, he bought a ticket for himself and his circus group from Quebec to the Los Angeles Arts Festival with no return fare. Now, we all know his success as the founder of Cirque du Soleil.
- J.K. Rowling wrote the majority of the Harry Potter series in cafés while she carted around her daughter. As a newly divorced single mother, she relied on welfare for her and her daughter. With her back against the wall, she brought her wizarding story to worldwide success.
- A friend of mine told me his website business finally took off when he had no other choice but to make rent for he and his mother. A few years down the line, his new travel business was born out of his own desperate desire to continuously see new parts of the world.
As true as those stories are, how much creative tension is too much?
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Wishing you awesomeness from Managua!