For all of the moping around and support-seeking you see on social media these days about the struggle of starting a business, there’s an underlying truth that these entrepreneurs love the pain. They wouldn’t find time to analyze and write their feelings otherwise.
It’s just like a bodybuilder or a model critiquing himself in a mirror in front his workout buddies. It increases the mental bruising which in turn reinvigorates the entrepreneurial spirit.
I see it as a cycle, and it goes something like this.
Step 1: Push hard to launch a product, complete a financing event, or hit a major milestone.
Step 2: Let the mental and physical exhaustion catch up to you, feel it wash through your body and limbs, and reflect on it.
Step 3: Write about it, exploring the suffering in excruciating detail, which in turn releases a competitive drive to try again, perform better, summit that next peak.
Step 4: Repeat Step 1.
If I had a normal 9–5 job I think I would miss the most is not having a backstop. I can’t say that I enjoy the pain of letting a ball go by and having to go back and fetch it, but I respect its absence. I know it’s not there, and that constant bit of anxiety is what makes the entrepreneurial job unique and fun. Without it, I’d feel too comfortable, like I’m not pushing myself enough.
Similarly, if I don’t have an ache somewhere in my upper body or legs, then I know it’s been too long since I ran and did pull-ups. So I try to do that workout every other day.
A tolerable amount of pain and discomfort is good. It’s a sign of growth.