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starting is fun but finishing is rewarding

May 30, 2012

One of the challenges programmers face when making the transition to entrepreneur is controlling the urges that come 4-6-8 months into the process. You see, the start is fun. The start is exciting, a jump into the unknown.

The start is when you get to do what you love to do best which is code. How are we going to architect it? How will it scale? Should I use Laravel, RoR, Django? Postgres or MySQL? Memcache, Varnish, Less, Coffescript, BackBone. As a programmer these are the ideas that get us excited. The opportunity to play with new toys, to design and build new things.

That's all good and an important part of the process, but after those decisions are made, after a big chunk of the code is written you'll usually hit a wall. Your mind wanders and you'll get excited about something new.

Maybe you heard about a new technology that peaked your interest, it could be you thought of a cool domain name and it was actually available. It'll be something small usually, but before you know it you've spent a week thinking and working on this new thing.

That's OK. It happens. I think it's just the way we're wired. Our minds need the break after a period of time of working on only one thing.

This is also the time of greatest danger. The joy of a new start is in your grasp and if you're serious about being an entrepreneur you need to recognize what this is. That you need to put this idea aside and stay focused. It's really really hard. Every bone in your body will say to do the new fun thing, you're sure it's a better idea, you've spent several minutes hours researching it and are absolutely sure!

Chances are though that it's not. Hold strong, because finishing is what's rewarding. Finishing is where the glory is. Finishing is how you build a career. Everything that happens after you code it up is where a business is made.

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