A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about how I was leaving my job in the corporate world and establishing my own company in the solar industry. I’ve learned a ton of things in the few weeks since launch date.
The first thing is starting from scratch requires a lot more than I thought. It’s like trying to get a bus moving except there’s no engine. You have to stand behind the vehicle and push with everything you have. Oh, and the bus’s parking break is locked in place. Every little thing that I took for granted, from logo design, to a phone line, to a company’s reputation have to be established. The latter of which takes years to develop.
It’s been 6 weeks since I have made a dime. This is something I accounted for pre-launch and it’s something I expect to continue for a while longer. It’s part of starting a new company. Yet when you see your bank balance declining and there’s no guarantee of it going back up, it’s a tough reality to grasp.
We have restructured our business model twice as things about the industry become more clear. To be completely honest with you, I’m not sure the solar industry stands a chance. Long story short, in the mid-late 2000’s, tons of companies got into solar thanks to new US tax policy that ended in 2011. Some of that policy at a local level was extended through 2016 but investors fear that recent developments will greatly impact the solar industry’s growth in the US. Mix this in with the complex credit crunch about to lay waste to China, I truly do think the solar industry (and several others) are about to become bone-thin.
With all of this said, it’s still better than where I was at. Before I left my previous job, I made a list of about 50 things that I hated at that employer. I titled it, “Just in case you forget why you’re leaving.” I posted this list in my kitchen.
In some disheartening way, I have no idea whether or not I’ll still be running this company in the next 6 months. The only thing I’m 100% certain on is that I’ll be fighting through every challenge, learning a ton every step of the way. I guess in the grand scheme of things, that’s a pretty sweet deal.
And that takes me to my most important point. I’ve learned that you must re-invent the way you measure success. It can’t always be a financial number. It’s in little things. It’s in knowledge, whether you’re perfecting a skill, learning an industry, or understanding yourself. I’m still struggling with this everyday, but the days that I count my won battles not by a sales number, are the days that I’m excited to get to work the next day.
Here’s to the most real-life post on a blog about a dead video game. Cheers.