A few days before I left for my business trip to New York, I realized I was thinking too small. Under immense start-up stress and having a live-in boyfriend equally stressed trying to take a big professional exam it occurred to me that the cup was full, something was going to have to give. I didn't realize that everything would. The next day my then boyfriend moved out and I started packing for my trip.
By the time I landed at JFK I was already getting my ass chewed out by an Advisor who thought I had told someone his friend was interested in investing in my start-up. Total miscommunication but it really pissed off my Advisor's friend which then pissed my Advisor off. 5 minutes into New York and what I thought would close or be any amount of help is looking like a disaster. Something had to give.
I spent the following days meeting with various founders, Angels, and anyone in my industry who seemed relevant. In hindsight it all seems more like a blur where I was testing the city out, it was also Social Media Week which is madness in itself. The longer I stayed in the city the further away Silicon Valley seemed anyway. From my SocialTimes articles I got an amazingly affordable offer for office space on Park Avenue, but I still needed money, so I kept thinking of California as my wallet "I need to go back," I told my friends "we're in fundraising mode, maybe in XX months we will move out here." I kept making excuses for why I needed to go back to San Francisco but I knew that if I did close big investment there I would be stuck and all our potential clients are here on the East Coast.
My last meeting is when I officially became a New Yorker, without realizing it.
For more info on Esther Dyson and how it came to be --->>
It took my godfather five times to pass the California Bar Exam and become a licensed attorney and now he is one of the most successful and well known Estate attorneys in the Bay Area. He went to law school in Nigeria and practiced in London for nearly a decade before coming to the U.S but when he arrived he had to 'start from the bottom' working full time as a security guard and studying for the Bar Exam late at night. This post isn't about some American dream though, its about annoying the shit out of someone until you win.
Endy's philosophy was this: I will keep taking this test until I memorize every answer, I will put my personal life on hold just so I can focus on cracking the code to this test and I will every few months sit in a chair filling out line after line of legal responses until I pass this test and to the judges who keep giving me scores just slightly below passing...
"YOU WILL GET TIRED OF SEEING MY HANDWRITING"
What an interesting perspective. I think the average person would see how miserable they are or defeated yet Endy's mentality has always been that he will prevail.
Start-up life is no different. We made finalists for The Funded's Founders showcase (top 15) but did not make stage. NBC ended up broadcasting a TV clip of us nationally but our traffic didn't budge until we had a guest post from a mom blogger living on the east coast about healthy eating and our servers nearly melted. We've had every issue an early stage start-up could be handed and yet I'm still here, all fingers in tact ranting on my blog. Why? Because we WILL be successful, there are users who love us, companies lining up to be on board and engineers who are excited about what we are doing too. I've heard it all, reasons why start-ups are tough, reasons why we will fail and I have spent the last year happily checking those items off a grocery list. Get threatened by ______ for _____? Check. Hosting issues? Check.
In the case of ConsumerBell we are going to be wildly successful because I'm great at failing things once and surpassing them twice. Despite sailing accidents, almost dying from various infections and product roadmap changes I feel absolutely the same way as Endy: I will memorize every 3 minute pitchdeck, I will destroy my personal life just to focus on product buildout and releases and I will keep pushing pass a hundred no's until I'm overwhelmed with yes's. To investors and haters and disbelievers my only destination is winning and I will not stop at anything in the middle.
YOU WILL GET TIRED OF SEEING MY HANDWRITING.