Confessions From An Everyday Entrepreneur

In May of 2013, I launched Rethink Creative Group with a dear friend. We had no money, no clients, and no prospects when we launched. The one thing we did have was a dream.

Everyone has their own conception of what it looks like to launch a company. Some people see it as sexy, others see it as risk versus reward, and there is a myriad of other ways people view any entrepreneurial endeavors.

Two and a half years into this journey I'll tell you they are all true. There are times when everything feels like it's falling apart, and there are other moments when I believe we're on the brink of doing something beyond our wildest dreams. 

Starting a company is a wonderfully painful experience. 

I start each day the same... I wake up and remind myself, "I get to do this today." Every day is pregnant with opportunity. I'm sure I will either fail or succeed, but more than likely I'll do both in the same day. 

I've hired friends, and they've walked away for better positions. I've also fired friends and wept because I knew the pain it would cause in the process. We've signed company saving clients and lost clients which meant a lighter paycheck the following month. 

We've created incredible work, and made some amazing products which I am so proud to say we did. 

I'm most pleased with the fact that we're still going. 

You would not believe some of the bad days we've had. On the day my business partner left his day job to go full-time with Rethink we got sued. There have been knock down drag out fights where we all walk away thinking, "what the hell are we doing." 

I've had clients be on the verge of signing deals that would change our small agency back out at the last second. What's worse is they backed out for reasons beyond our control. Which left us feeling helpless. 

In the rollercoaster that is entrepreneurship I've learned a few things which have served me well. 

Get over things quickly.

When I was in college I played in a number of poker tournaments. I was a decent player and won good money having fun. I also lost money. The thing with poker is you have to let the last hand go. You need to remember the last hand, and learn from it, but the point is to move on and keep playing. 

Whenever I have a bad day I call it what it is. I feel the weight of it that day and then wake up and remind myself, "I get to do this today." 

I don't wake up dreading the challenge ahead or belabor what happened yesterday. I embrace that I am the owner of my destiny. Today does not have to be like yesterday it can be different. 

I share this with you from my desk which sits 3 feet from my bed. I don't have some big corporation that wants to buy out my tiny agency. My 2003 Toyota Corolla gets me from place to place and I live a pretty simple life with my family. 

So this is my confession... 

I'm just a dude with a dream. A dream of something bigger than where I am now. I want to do great work for our clients, pay my employees a phenomenal salary, and change the world through giving of our time, talents, and money to worthy causes. 

 

We're not there yet,

 

but I wake up every day and know...

 

....we're not that far away. 

David Valentine