Starting a software company is hard but not in the ways I thought it would be. My technical skills were a comfort–I made a living off of learning and this made sense for the industry. But, there’s the “other stuff.” I won’t call them soft skills because I can’t discern between professional and personal. It’s just the “other stuff.”
Since this was no problem, the past three years have been laser-focused on the “other stuff.” My personal life has gone through what feels dramatically like a revolution and predicting the other side of running a business hasn’t gone very well because how I responded to everything was changing every day.
Notes to myself:
- I find making decisions between two rights hard. I am not a waffler but it takes me longer than I expected it to. I spend a lot of time researching what other people have done, what other people are doing, and inevitably end up making the decision based on my values and what little information I have.
- I find the unspoken expectations of my role hard. The way I speak and act is filtered through a lens held by someone else with incomplete information about who I am. This is something I’ve struggled with immensely in my personal life, it brings me to tears most of the time, and it continues to be the case in the professional sphere.
- I find being objective with a bootstrapped business to be very hard. You think about running your own business all the time: hey, it’s my schedule, my choices, my work. That sounds fun. But, it’s completely yours. Huge mistakes are taking a chunk out of your future in some way–time or money. Everything is deeply personal.
- I find the balance of my biology and my position to suddenly be hard. It hadn’t bothered me until this project. The family life I’ve always wanted doesn’t exist and the rhythm of running of company leads me to think they’re mutually exclusive even if intellectually, I know they are not. I don’t have evidence of anything proving otherwise. Other women aren’t me and every sentence uttered about this topic feels patronizing.
- I find being patient incredibly, incredibly, hard. You can do a lot of things: find operational efficiencies, run as many user interviews as you want, research the market and competition, and try your very best. After all of that, you still have to be patient. Companies, like muscle, take forever to build.
This is the other, harder stuff. Month 19.