Starting a business is very hard and to be successful I think you need to have a certain set of characteristics, one of which I’ll call the “insane maniac” trait.
I by no means think you need to be certifiably crazy to start and run a business, but I do think you need to be able to handle the stresses of entrepreneurial life and to do so requires a mentality that, in some cases, you can just flat-out call crazy.
- Paying people with money you don’t have
- Working 24+ hours straight
- Flying across the world and back for one meeting
- Buying assets with money you don’t have
- Living with no income, but lots of expenses
- Distributing flyers room by room, in hundreds of rooms for hours on end
- Obsessing over a problem or idea during all hours of the day
- Walking around for weeks with inventory in your backpack in hopes of making a sale to random people
- Stocking boxes of inventory in your bedroom to the point you can’t move
- Writing 50 page business plans at 3am
- Diagraming an entire network of one’s business contacts
- Selling something that doesn’t exist
- Learning chinese to have one phone call
- Learning how to write code from scratch to in order to build software
These are just a few things I’ve either experienced or witnessed firsthand by other entrepreneurs. So I think if you have partners you can trust, but can also operate at a borderline crazy yet obsessively steady pace, then I think you have a good foundation for building a business. And it will be with people that are crazy enough to make it work, whatever “it” is and whatever “it” takes.
I’m thankful to have been able to start businesses with people that fit this mould (even if only a little): Joe P, Lauren R, Steve W, Jesse S, Reese P, Dan S, Jeremy R, David N, Tom W, Corey C, Andrew F.