There are many things some people are willing to do to finance the beginnings of their startup. There are also many things, when it comes down to sheer hard facts, that people are not willing to do.
One entrepreneur at a recent event was talking to another. I was listening in. The advice from the funded entrepreneur was that the guy trying to make it had to quit his job. The deal is that no VC was going to take his business seriously if he wasn’t prepared to stand behind it himself and quit his job.
The second (day job employed) entrepreneur’s response was, “I just couldn’t put my wife through that.”
On the one hand, I loved him for thinking of her first. On the other, I was shocked – why not ask her? Why not pitch your idea to her as if she were an investor? Why not give her the chance to say no? And if you think she’s definitely going to say no, then why are you ‘playing around’ anyway? You’re never going to fully commit to your startup if you’re not willing to do all it takes.
And sometimes all it takes involves stuff you never thought you’d have to do.
We’re selling our house
When we moved to the US, I was prepared to sell my house now and be the startup widow. The golf widow, but the startup version. I knew it would be tough. I jumped with my eyes open.
But I didn’t know that the bug was so catching. That I was not made to be the startup widow – I was made to also be an entrepreneur. I’m a co-founder. I’m a graduate of a fantastic incubator. And I’m standing behind the vision of our startup, and that house in Sydney – the one I spent so much time, money, heart, sweat and tears renovating and designing – is up for auction. Because we’re throwing all the money into our bootstrapping efforts.
It used to be my dream home. It’s still an awesome home. But it’s no longer the home for the woman I am. It’s the dream home of the woman I was five years ago.