why starting a company is n̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ exactly like running a marathon

Starting a company is n̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ exactly like running a marathon. Let’s jump into it.

It all starts with training, or development. One day you have an awesome idea — you’re going to r̶u̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶a̶t̶h̶o̶n̶ start a company. So you start r̶u̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ looking into the problem you’re going to solve, and developing your product.

Now it’s been a few weeks, and you’ve been r̶u̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ working on this thing for a while now. You’re ready to enter. Here’s the thing though — anyone can e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶a̶t̶h̶o̶n̶ start a company. You just need to pay whatever the e̶n̶t̶r̶y̶ incorporation fee might be. But by the time you’ve put the time in to t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶ validate your product, the entry fee seems like a small price to pay.

We all know that e̶n̶t̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶ ̶m̶a̶r̶a̶t̶h̶o̶n̶ starting a company is far from running i̶n̶ it. Once you’ve entered, you need to keep investing if you want to avoid i̶n̶j̶u̶r̶y̶ liquidation. You’re going to have to buy n̶e̶w̶ ̶s̶h̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶g̶e̶a̶r̶ the tools you need. You realise that it’s one thing to r̶u̶n̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶t̶r̶e̶a̶d̶m̶i̶l̶l̶ create a business, it’s a whole other thing to h̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶o̶c̶k̶y̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶i̶l̶ run a company.

Now all of a sudden you’re two weeks o̶u̶t̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶r̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ deep into your beta testing, and you realise y̶o̶u̶’̶r̶e̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶’̶r̶e̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ your product just isn’t working the way you thought it would. You need to make a change, and you need to make it quick. You need to a̶d̶j̶u̶s̶t̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶c̶h̶e̶d̶u̶l̶e̶ pivot, or you’re going to lose.

With that m̶i̶n̶o̶r̶ massive speedbump out of the way, it’s finally r̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶d̶a̶y̶ time to take investment, or publicly launch your product, or any one of a million massive accomplishments that come with starting a company. The excitement is in the air, everyone’s ready to s̶w̶e̶a̶t̶ change the status quo, and you can’t believe both how much, and how little time has passed since that awesome idea you had all those months ago.

The g̶u̶n̶ ̶g̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶f̶ investors pitch in. The r̶a̶c̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶g̶i̶n̶s̶ product launches. It’s time. All this effort, all these hours put in to your goal, and you’re finally here — at the beginning. You’re at the start of the greatest feat of endurance you’ve ever had to endure, the biggest challenge you’ve ever undertaken. The thing that you always wanted to do, but never thought you could. It’s time to run the hell out of this r̶a̶c̶e̶ company.

You’re at the h̶a̶l̶f̶w̶a̶y̶ 6 month mark. You’ve hit a wall. You’re starting to think if all this is really worth it — this is seriously hard work, you feel like your body is going to cave in on itself, and you’re hurting in places you didn’t realise you even had. You think back to your previous optimism and shudder. But deep down, you know you’re not stopping. There’s no turning back now.

It’s 3 h̶o̶u̶r̶s̶ years since you started. It feels like a lifetime. you’re finally at the end — it’s finally over. You’re ready to c̶r̶o̶s̶s̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶i̶s̶h̶ ̶l̶i̶n̶e̶ exit. But just as you do, you have an insane thought. What if you… just kept running?

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