My entrepreneurial and career ambitions all boil down to that one line. I know that in a position I'm passionate about, I can better influence my own fate, and lead a very satisfying life. Beyond that I wish to work with others who also enjoy what they do. Ideally my efforts will help create more jobs that people can get excited about.
The following is a brief background of our startup efforts over the past year. If you know the story you can skip ahead to Going with the Flow.
Product Market Fit Requires a Market
One of the areas we've struggled with at Victus Media is finding a market and traction within it. "If you build it they will come" only works if you're Kevin Costner or James Earl Jones. We had to learn this the hard way with the initial ad based functionality of the IMM. Now with GarageDollar we have a market clearly in our sights and are rapidly exploring interfaces and tools that will ease the process of marketing yard sales.
Going with the Flow
I had come to the conclusion that I would have to build that job with a startup/small business, but there may be alternatives I haven't considered. As much as I relish the challenge of building and running a business with my own effort, and diving into the web stack from top to bottom, I have to balance that need with a minimum lifestyle.
The cost of a modest living for myself, my wife and our two little bark boxes (dogs) is 70k per year after taxes in our area including debt. My wife Michelle can get us halfway there, which makes a clear target of 60k gross that I need to pull in per year. I'm confident that I can earn enough with part time work, a combination of short term contracts, or freelancing. But I'm not confident I can love those types of work. I believe in longer term commitments and sustained value.
What if I could earn that lifestyle and equity in another business venture?
Businesses which are looking to branch out and grow in areas which overlap with my areas of expertise* can benefit from my enthusiasm, while I can help build a business I believe in. I won't own much equity at the start, but I can earn it over time while building the value of the business. I can satisfy my need for a position I greatly enjoy, while helping build a nascent business. I'd like to thank regular reader and commenter Leland Creswell for opening my eyes to opportunities that fall in this category.
*= see I'm a founder first which ironically details many of my skill areas if you're curious