It's time to chase your dream
How many of you have put it on the line and chased a dream?
A few months ago, I found myself at a turning point. I was rounding the corner towards 41 years old and began to look at what I was doing with my life and the type of legacy I was going to leave behind. I had a number of friends and coworkers that had decided that it was time for them to move on to different jobs. Notice that I say “jobs” and not careers, because over and over the conversations I had with them focused on the fact that it really seemed that they were running away to a different company rather than towards a new opportunity, career, or adventure.
I work in the software industry in Kansas City. Most of the software companies here have a “work hard…play hard” type of attitude, which can translate lots of different perks including on-site massages and beer kegs, free laptops, and even unlimited vacation and sick days. However, despite how amazing these perks might seem to both outsiders AND the people who work at these software companies, ultimately the goal of any company is to make money. And when it comes to startup technology companies there often are initial investors who's sole goal is make LOTS of money. The result is that many of software companies end up being sold to bigger companies or competitors and with that comes an uncertainty of future employment. When I started looking at what I was doing with my life, I realized that I have a job that I actually really enjoy and uncertainty is going to exist at any company that I would go on to.
So that left me thinking, “Am I going to be 70 years old and look back at my 9 to 5 job as my crowning achievement? Is that going to be my legacy?” The answer was a resounding “No”, but what was I doing to do? After a lot of thought, I realized that I can have a career that I’m good at, that I enjoy, that provides me with a good living, AND I can become what’s called a “10% Entrepreneur”. I don’t have to quit my day job. I don’t have to leverage every dollar I have. I don’t have to put my and my children’s future at risk.
I came up with the concept for KeepUntil over the last couple of years through dealing with the breakups my friends and I had gone through. I began to formulate an idea about a mobile app that would store people’s photos of their Ex while they dealt with a the pain and sadness of a breakup. I went out and conducted interviews and surveys about how people deal with the photos of their Ex and bing…bang…boom…I learned that many people aren't able to bring themselves to delete the photos of their Ex and need a place to store them out of their reach while they heal.
Over the last few months, I have pushed myself to learn new skills that I never thought I would learn and my development team is among the best that I can imagine ever finding. We at KeepUntil are working hard to build a game changing mobile application, but as the founder and head of the company I am routinely reminding everyone (myself included) that we must exceed the expectations of both ourselves and our customers.
In the end, I have chosen KeepUntil as my dream. I don’t know if this mobile application is going to take off and become the break through concept that I think it can be. However, I don’t have delusions of selling KeepUntil to some technology giant for millions of dollars. I am starting out with the simple pleasures of a dream:
Push your limits
Don't do the minimum
Learn new skills
Make my children proud
Be able to point to something amazing and call it mine that I created
I’ve decided that if I can accomplish all of those things KeepUntil will be a success and I can hold my head high as a 70 year old and say, “Mobile app? Yeah, I built and launched one of those. It’s still on the app store if you want to see it. Nice little business we’ve got there.”
"The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something." - Seth Godin
What’s your dream? Do you have an invention idea? Have you always wanted to act in a play or try standup comedy? What about a road trip across the country or appearing on a game show? The point is that you don’t have to mortgage your future in order to chase a dream. All you have to do it decide to do it and not quit until you make it happen.