I am Gollum. Many days I’m in a cave chasing something which could be a figment of my imagination and I’m talking to myself. Some days I meet people along my journey, who are incidentally also chasing what could be a figment of their imagination, and then I retreat back into my cave. I’m sure there are other similarities but it is best for us to leave that thread there.
Everyone wants to talk about metrics, product-market-fit, advertising, exponential growth, but not many want to talk about what happens to you when you’ve started a business… mentally.
My suspicion about hustle culture is that it exists to avoid thinking about the elephant in the room: we can’t really predict the outcome. If I let my mind linger on it too long, I start to worry about the team, business, or product and then I hear myself attempting to block the thoughts with work.
Except, I’ve been down that path before–I’ve worked 80+ hours a week and it doesn’t produce better outcomes. It produces tired founders with sad personal lives. We decided we weren’t going to become that.
… but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how long this tunnel seems to be.