Welcome, Sebastian, to SETT, and hats off and kudos to Tynan, the creator of SETT, for creating a new blogging platform that will allow the communities of our three great blogs to explore and learn about each other.
Ever since Tynan first told me about SETT, I've been a fan. I always wanted my blog, DanielOdio.com, to be about more than just me sharing my thoughts with my readers. I wanted it to be a conversation we could all have together, so we could all learn from each other.
Now that Sebastian's blog is joining SETT, readers will have easy ways to pique their curiosities around the things we all write about and share thoughts and expertise with each other. And that's amazing.
Tynan's blog is about world travel, good habits, freedom and minimalism. I'd also add that it's about self optimization, and being proud of who you are, and what you accomplish -- and doing it in really fun ways.
My blog is a sanctuary for entrepreneurs to learn from each other. A place to learn about angel fundraising, about how to build yourself as a brand, how to get massive amounts of press for your startup, about why you should productize your expertise , a place to learn from startup mistakes and how to be uber efficient with a computer and much more.
Now with Sebastian's blog on SETT, Tynan and I can add Sebastian's thoughts on strategy, philosophy, self discipline, science and victory to the mix. SETT is turning into a great community of blogs that support each other to give readers an incredible, expansive experience.
For those of you who have ever dreamt of becoming an entrepreneur, or who have already taken the plunge and are in the throes of it, I encourage you to ask me questions or share thoughts about your experiences -- especially life lessons in entrepreneurism that took you sweat and tears to learn -- at www.danielodio.com/community.
Great work, Tynan. I can't wait to see how SETT evolves.
As an entrepreneur for the past 12 years, I haven't collected a paycheck from any employer other than a company I own. In theory this sounds great, but there are few things in life that apply more pressure than being responsible for not only your paycheck, but the paychecks of employees. Most of these companies have done well, but some haven't. It's also quite taboo to talk openly about the emotional and mental stress that startups create, but privately almost every CEO I've spent time with has shared similar feelings with me. When Sebastian and I discussed posting on each other's blogs, I figured this was a great opportunity to open up about what it's like to be the CEO of a technology startup along with several previous companies, and specifically to discuss the self discipline that's required to successfully navigate the stresses of startups, because these same lessons apply in anyone's daily life. As you can tell by the title, I liken it to having the self discipline of a Buddhist monk.
But first, some background: When I was 22, I graduated from college with an offer from General Electric to work in their Technical Leadership Program. It was a sweet offer -- a fast-track to management role where a select set of college graduates were rotated through various parts of the company. It gave me the opportunity to work in Latin America. I was sent to GE's Crotonville leadership campus, where I'd see Jack Welch, GE's CEO at the time, fly in and out on his helicopter, and senior GE executives would train us in leadership seminars. It was like being a golden child, a chosen one. We knew that we were being groomed to be the next generation of leaders at GE, and GE did everything it could to foster that confidence in us.
This leadership program was just two years long. It was going very well, but something was nagging at me: Growing up, I had to be very entrepreneurial out of necessity. I had to pay for college myself. I'd always been very independent and self sufficient. Suddenly, I was part of a huge machine. Although I was being treated very well, I felt that I wasn't being true to myself and my entrepreneurial spirit. I knew that I could do more, and that if I didn't quit then, I would get sucked into the trappings of corporate life. So I quit GE six months before I was supposed to graduate from the leadership program. It was 1999 and the tech bubble was going in full swing. I felt that staying even six more months would be too long.
Going from GE's leadership program to a startup company is a bit like going from the comfy cigar chair at country club to washing dishes in the back. It's a jarring experience, but one that I was thirsty for. I soaked it up, and quickly learned my first lesson in startups: If you're not really, really passionate about what you're doing, then don't do it. Although being an entrepreneur is romanticized in popular culture, the road is so long, and the pain is so great, that unless you're really passionate about it, you'll be crushed by the pressure.
Passion for what you're doing in life applies beyond startups. It's easy for any of us to become trapped in the constructs we create. We feel like we have responsibilities to those around us to be risk averse. Maybe you have a mortgage. Or kids in school. Or a spouse depending on your income. But I'm here to tell you that you are not trapped by your environment. You are never a victim of your circumstances, and you have not only a right, but a responsibility to live your life in a way that inspires passion inside of you. Those around you will benefit far more from that passion than from your fear of pursuing it, and they will be inspired themselves to seek out the things that they are passionate about. You only live once. No, seriously, you only live once. If you're not doing something today that you're passionate about, then quit. Take that scary plunge into the unknown. You will be so happy that you did. It won't be easy at first, but it well be better immediately.
I can't tell you how excited I am to share this news. As some of you may have already noticed, there are two more blogs on SETT, bringing the count to four.
As I've mentioned before, I only read about four blogs regularly. One of those is Sebastian Marshall, which is why I'm especially proud to have him switched over to SETT. After myself and DROdio, he's the third blogger to move to the platform. If you like my stuff, you'll almost certainly love his stuff, too. My very favorite article of his is this one.
Number four is my good friend, Brian Sharp with Made of Metaphors. You might recognize him from his consistently awesome community contributions and comments here. A bit of trivia-- Brian is actually the first friend I ever made. We used to both live in Massachusetts, and we became friends in preschool.
By the way, DROdio (SETT blogger #2) posted an excellent post on Sebastian's blog, and Sebastian posted an excellent post on his blog, so check those two out.