the hyphens that define my life

Start Me Up November 15, 2013

If you start me up

If you start me up

I’ll never stop

If you start me up

If you start me up I’ll never stop

I’ve been running hot

You got me ticking gonna blow my top

If you start me up

If you start me up

I’ll never stop

~Mick Jaggar & Keith Richards

This weekend is Startup Weekend in Spokane.  Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.  Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.   Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurs. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Startup Weekend is targeted to those looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute.  Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.  All this for a fee, $85, unless you’re a student.

I was invited to participate in Statup Weekend.  My initial response was to sing the Rolling Stones “Start Me Up.”  As a result, I didn’t sign up. Don’t think I don’t have big ideas.  Oh, I got ’em.  And if I don’t, my husband sure does. Yet, as Miyagi instructs, all grasshoppers must have patience.  This mother ship has barely landed in Spokane, my dining room isn’t completely painted yet, I need time to establish my root system.

One thing is to have ideas, another is to act on them.  Acting is what differentiates you from being a worker bee to an entrepreneur.  I’ve been both, worker bee and entrepreneur.  Each are great and suck in their own light. Being a worker bee provides stability and paychecks like clockwork, sharing not owning the responsibility of the company for the price of following the rules set forth by your employer.  As an entrepreneur, you have to make the magic happen, sometimes alone, with huge rewards or huge failure, owning all of the responsibility.

I just read “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield (another from the Real Simple list, 50 books that changed my life).  The book is directed at writers and artists and other creative types trying to survive.  Pressfield compares the amateur versus the professional.  The amateur is the worker bee, chugging along, doing what he has to do to get by, not loving it, just living it.  The professional, on the other hand, has passion, loves what he does with complete focus and knows that with success comes failure.  The professional must learn to beat resistance, to persevere, to stay on task and good or bad, keep moving forward.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those in attendance at Spokane’s Startup Weekend.  Best of luck overcoming resistance and persevering to see your startup come to fruition.


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