Do you have a friend who you meet from time to time, and when you meet him, he always has some new project or startup idea that he is working on? I have more than one friend like that.
They always have lots of new ideas, which is great! But they have been getting new ideas now for many years, and not come very far with any of them. And somehow they are always totally unaware of this flaw in themselves. And somehow they do not see that if they continue like this; they will go through their whole life without any "finished" projects.
I was like that. I used to think that the idea is the most important aspect of a startup. And once you find the right idea you only work on it a week or two, and then you get lots and lots of users and become super successful.
So I always spent my days thinking of new startup ideas, and I began building a lot of projects. But then as soon as it got a little hard, my brain tended to think "it didn't work, I didn't get any users - the idea was not good enough". And then hours later I got excited about the next thing.
This does not apply only to startup ideas. Not sticking to an idea, habit or a project for long enough seems to be a trait that many people suffer from. Do you know anyone who has always been trying to lose weight? And who is always trying a new diet? The tabloids fan this fire by writing about new diets or methods every week.
In the end I got so sick of myself when I noticed this, so I decided that once I get going with my next startup I am going to stick to it. I am going to fight hard and well through the early stages. I am going to spend months and years making it a success. Because that's the thing - as soon as it gets hard you will just have to fight through it instead of going for another startup idea.
Sticking to a long term project is one of the most powerful actions out there. It will separate you from a lot of people who do not have this ability. This ability, or perspective on life if you will, can be applied to everything from investment strategies to fitness habits and startups.
PS. Credit to the tweet below for inspiring this blog post.
"If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up." #quote— Joy Olsson (@joyolsson) July 11, 2013