Now that everyone has probably already slacked off on their new year’s resolutions, I think it’s time to choose a new one. Here’s one that might just change your life.
In 2012 resolve to SHOW UP.
That’s it. Don’t resolve to do anything else. Just show up.
Ever since I made the decision to show up in 2008, my life has never been the same. It was the single best decision I ever made. If you haven’t decided to show up yet, I hope 2012 is the year you do.
I originally wrote the following as a guest post for Tech.li‘s CEO Sundays. I thought would be particularly appropriate to repost it as a new year’s resolution on Startups and Burritos.
There’s a famous Woody Allen quotes that says, “80% of success is showing up.”
I think this is true for everything in life
You know that average looking dude with the really hot girlfriend? You know how he pulled that off? He showed up. He asked her out when everyone else thought she was out of their league.
How about the revolutions in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia? Those revolutions didn’t happen because a few scholars argued from an ivory tower. They happened because people on the street decided to show up.
How about guys like Chris Sacca or Gary Vaynerchuk or Chris McCann who are all doing pretty awesome things with their lives? All of these guys are successful for the same reason — they decided they were going to show up.
The same rule can be applied to the startup world. You want to be part of a startup? Then go do it. The hardest part of running a company isn’t running the company; it’s having the courage to take the leap in the first place. My friend, Mark Bertrand, is a good example. Mark had been interested in startups for a few years and wanted to join one. So what did he do? He began organizing startup events and meeting people in the startup community. First, he organized a breakfast called Startup Waffles, and from there, he helped organize a Startup Weekend in Chicago. One of the companies that emerged from the Startup Weekend was a company called Cloudbot. When the two Cloudbot founders needed to fill out their founding team, who did they call up? Duh!!! They called up the dude who already showed he could execute by organizing the event. Mark showed up. He put himself into a position to get lucky and now he is on the founding team for a great, VC-backed startup.
And Mark isn’t the exception. He’s the rule. All the people I know who are doing cool things with their lives didn’t get there because they were smarter than everyone else. They got there simply because they decided they were going to do it. That’s it. End of story.
So if you have an idea you’re passionate about, my advice is to quit talking about and just go after it. I’ve been in this startup game for three and half years now and I can say without a doubt that deciding to take the leap has been the best and most rewarding decision I’ve ever made. Now, I’m not going to lie and say everything is a bowl of cherries. Often times, it’s actually a big bowl of SUCK. Startup life can be lonely at times and is often filled with self-doubt. The work isn’t always glamourous, the pay usually blows and entrepreneurs sacrifice a lot time spent with friends and loved ones to make their companies work. But at the same time, deciding to pursue this course provides an incredible opportunity to do GOOD in this world and leave a lasting impact on millions of people. And that, without a doubt makes up for all the SUCK.
If you’ve been thinking about starting a company for a while but you’re still debating whether to take the plunge here are the two most important reasons why should stop thinking about it and just go after it.
(1) Life is too short to to do anything you are not absolutely passionate about.
You never know when you’re going to get hit by a bus. So while you are alive on this beautiful blue planet, you should make it your mission to do cool shit. The #1 regret people have on their death bed is failing to pursue their dreams. Don’t be one of these people. You choose your own path in life. Why settle for a boring one?
(2) Do it because the world needs you to show up.
The world needs more innovators tackling big problems like poverty, healthcare, climate change and education. The existing models are broken and need to be changed. Innovation is the fastest path to solving these problems, and it’s entrepreneurs not governments, who are going to have to lead the way.
It’s your choice. You can talk or you can do. I urge you to do.