If you like this article, tell a friend!      

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Other's responses to my SEEF3M

So I've had a chance to tell a few co-workers and friends about my upcoming leave of absence. Of course they ask "What are you planning to do with it?" And I test the waters out by saying:

"Make enough money so I don't hafta come back."

I usually use this one as a gauge on what conversation to have with the person. There are two responses:

1. Ha ha. Better go buy a lottery ticket!
2. Awesome... what ideas do you have?

People who answer #1, I say "Yup, I plan on buying a lottery ticket my first day off!" And then I have the "I'm gonna go on a roadtrip, enjoy life, and it's something to do when I'm still single" conversation.

People who answer #2, I tell them about notthebookstore.com, and my thinking that you hafta fail 10 times before you hit something, so I want to get 2-3 failures out of the way during the 3 months.

It's been really interesting talking to people type #2. There are more people than I imagine who Corporateprenuer... i.e. have some sort of business on the side, or have the desire to. One guy told me all about the stuff that his entrepreneur wife does, owning franchises and stuff. He also made a point to tell me that it was great that I was doing this.

One really interesting response was from my dad. I brought up the idea to him a month ago (I haven't even told him I've already discussed this with my boss). In a "why are you doing this to me" tone of voice, he said "Why would you want to do that in this economy? I don't think it's a good move." He was almost hurting for me, which is pretty frustrating because when I'm hurting, the only person that needs to be hurting is me. And I'm not even hurting. Guess that's parents for you. Well, I haven't brought up the subject since... I probably won't until everything's official.

So, in a nutshell, everyone has been supportive except for one person... and he'll live, I'm sure my sister and I have done worse things to him in the past. The most meaningful support and encouragement I've gotten (other than my co-horts in this blog) has been from Jason Cohen of A Smart Bear blog and Adam McFarland (his blog here), because the vision is to be in their shoes someday... and it's nice to know there are people out there who get it.



Adam McFarland said...

Dale -

I got the exact same responses when I left my job. You've got the right mentality - listen to what they have to say, but at the end of the day do what you were planning on doing anyway. I always used to think about the worst case scenario: I fail completely at business and need to get a job. Big deal right? That's exactly where I started. In your case, you've found an even better loophole, almost like a summer vacation in college: no risk, all reward.

I had a real hard time dealing with people in category #1. I couldn't decide whether they were doubting me or doubting that anyone can do it. Innovation is built upon entrepreneurship. As a society we wouldn't grow if people weren't constantly trying new things, and a large part of that is starting new companies. I always sort of came to the conclusion that they were just bitter because they didn't have the opportunity or wherewithal to do it themselves. For a while I had an "I'll show them" mentality...then I realized I'd rather not be bitter and focus on how rewarding and fun entrepreneurship can be.

Can't wait to read more. Btw, are you planning on doing anything with NotTheBookstore in the future? I don't know much about the market, but it seems like an awesome idea that could be a huge affiliate site. It's a pain to integrate all of the courses from various colleges, but if you take it one by one you could have a product that no one else has (at least that I've seen).


Jason Cohen said...

Wow thanks for the kind mention! I'm truly glad I'm able to encourage and embolden you.

To stoke the fire, never EVER listen to people in category #1. That's the only sure way to fail!

Most first ideas "fail," but only in the sense that they lead into the correct second idea. Morphing into what works isn't "failure," it's progress. It just feels like failure, believe me. Don't get discouraged!

As for the economy, now is the PERFECT time to start a new company. Love dad, but in this case Dad is wrong. There's no better time than right now to start. Everything's cheapest and all your potential competitors are running scared and losing money.

Maybe print this out for dad:


(That's my guest-post on OnStartups; also see the follow-up on OnStartups where Neil Davidson stacked 6 more reasons on.)

Dale said...

@Adam: I guess I should clarify, I kid around at work a lot so the people responding in that way are returning my joke... although I'm only half joking. Most of the people in category #1 are envious and don't believe they could ever do it.

Yup, I'm working on NTBS right now... kind of doing a pilot run (if you haven't noticed already, I'm a fan of pilot runs) at my MBA alma mater. Surprisingly enough, the bottleneck right now is conversion... for some reason buying books from the bookstore is so ingrained in people that saving 50% online doesn't get through yet. Would love any feedback.

@Jason: Wonderful post as usual... really hits home! The fact that recessions are a great opportunity isn't just happy talk. Stuff is cheap! People's pessimism actually hurts the recovery of the economy. Thanks for sharing the blog post with me, I was about to comment then realized it was from last December!

Post a Comment

The Corporatepreneur © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.