Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #48


Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast, this is Ryan Rutan from startups dot com, joined as always by Wil Schroder Ceo and founder of startups dot com So well we, we talk about a lot of things here and you know, we've, we've talked about all sorts of aspects of startup companies, but at what point and how far into my old age do I have to be before my startup starts to push me around, you know, bring me tea and and coffee or something like when, when does it make me happier? When is it gonna is it gonna start to pay me back? It never

Wil Schroter: stops running you into debt and driving your anxiety and sending you to the doctor. I mean like then

Ryan Rutan: Exactly like then, yeah,

Wil Schroter: when is that does that happen at some point? Is that part of the story?

Ryan Rutan: I hope so, I was, I was told so many, many years

Wil Schroter: ago, this is just the horse just keeps coming back and there's, there's a site, it's so interesting, it's just kind of a life thing. We've now been through enough startups of our own or with our friends or folks that we get a chance to work with. Yeah, early in our careers, I guess we couldn't really see how this thing was going to go. It's like a life, right? You need to kind of live it to see how the whole arc goes, You can see other people and how they did just ain't the same until you go through it yourself and I'll say this, I can probably point to three what I'd call full story arcs in my life of a full company point where it went from total terror to wow, this is going to last forever to hey, this is a little less crappy than it was yesterday to wow, things are going well. And for some reason, at the end of every one of those stories, I'm like, hey, let me just roll the dice again and make it terrible again

Ryan Rutan: right now that things are really good. I should probably push the, you know, the reset button.

Wil Schroter: Well, I mean, I guess it's the same reason that, you know, when Michael Jordan won a championship, he wasn't just like, well won the championship, you know, might as well just pack it up and you know, earn my enjoy my Nike millions. Like, you know, players want to play, you know, they

Ryan Rutan: want to get that decided to play baseball right? He was really off script here. It's this basketball thing has gotten too damn easy. Let me try

Wil Schroter: some of our wedding rings. No, but I think for a lot of us were listening to this because we're in the mix right now, we're in it. We're heads down, we're doing all the things that are difficult. Our startup feels like a total shit show. We assume everybody else must be figuring it out, but ours is just a disaster with all these personalities and big issues that we should have been able to avoid. Side note, No, yours is the same as everyone else's and probably not nearly as bad as you think, but you know when we're headlong in the mix, there's kind of this vision we have for down the road where at that point things will be ok at this point. At this point it's terrible and I get it, but at that point things will be okay. And if we start looking at how long it's taking to get to that point, at some point we start scratching our heads going, is this ever going to is there any light at the end of this? Right? Is this ever going to end and

Ryan Rutan: good news guys? The answer is maybe

Wil Schroter: and if it does, you'll be dumb like Will and Ryan and started all over again. But the truth is I don't think there is a definitive moment when everything changes. I think a lot of us think about it in terms of what we sold the company or we see a person at I. P. O Day, you know, and saying, well that must be the moment. The truth is not really, you know

Ryan Rutan: exactly where over the rainbow moment where we get sucked up into a tornado and we just landed in Oz and now everything is different right? It's now it's it's incremental and slow and but this is, you know, it's funny because it is to side right? So sometimes it's it's incremental and slow and we end up in that great place, sometimes it's incremental and slow and we end up in a bad place, right? It's, it's the boiling frog thing, we just, it's changing so slowly that we don't really see or feel it and it's a pity because when it does go well, sometimes that we really have to step back and say like, well actually this is quite a bit better and I am quite a bit happier just change so slow that I didn't find that moment in which I could appreciate it and that's a pity

Wil Schroter: to that end, I think that's what we can cover today. So for folks that are listening, I think what we could really touch on our acute points that you could maybe even look at right now and what's happening in your business and say, huh? Yeah, actually, okay, that is a bit of a sign of progress, you know, things are a little bit better than they were before, You could also look at that and go, I am nowhere near that finish line, must be a lot longer than I thought it was, but either way, what I've seen again in my own businesses and watching other folks and Ryan you and I have shared some of these, these milestones together with startups dot com is that there are moments where you can stop and say ah okay, this is when things started to get a little bit better. One of the first ones, you know, Ryan that I think you and I have talked about a bit is when we can actually say no,

Ryan Rutan: oh yeah, we went through an exhaustive exhaustive list on this, in fact about things that we've said no to as we've built and some of them from right from the beginning, right? Because we've been through this, this show before, you and I have both been around the block a couple times with startups. So there were some things that we said no to right from the beginning and then there were some things that we sort of had to re earn our way into being able to say no to and and that's that's a bigger deal than it sounds like right. It really does take a lot of the stress off and you can say no to things like working way too much, right? When you can say no to things like staying over one more sunday and missing something important in life in order to do something important for the startup. When you can finally say no to that and I would say it's not just about saying no, but it's about saying no and feeling like you're not compromising, its at that point where I think the happiness comes in because at some point you do say no simply because you have to because you're going to burn out, you're going to die otherwise, but I think the difference, it's immersed, you know, you're like, I just can't right, I have to take a knee on this. But there's a difference between the mercy no and the know where it's like, you know, I'm not gonna do that anymore because I don't have to and it's not going to negatively impact the business. I'm not making a trade off. There is no compromise. That's when it really feels good.

Wil Schroter: When I was early early in my career and a customer would say to me, I need to work more hours for no pay, right? For as long as I want you to, the answer was just yes. It didn't, it didn't even occur to me that no was an option. And again, probably my ignorance, probably, you know, growing up in a place where you know, no wasn't an option just to report and whatever it was handed to you. You just said yes, it was like, hey, I have worked for you. And the answer is yes. And then you ask what the work is. You don't realize you're allowed, you're allowed the option. Well, so early early in my career where I was essentially leveraged and conditioned to be leveraged to where I had to say yes to everything and didn't realize that that no was an option and no is always an option. The question is what consequence you're willing to accept with no. You know, if you say, hey, no, I don't want that job. I'm going to stay unemployed. All you're really saying is, yes, I can say no, I just have to deal with the consequence. And early in my career it didn't occur to me that if I said no, that there might be another way to get to that same outcome. That if I said no to that client that I couldn't have just said, I'll do it if you'll pay me more, I just assumed I could be, you know, kind of bullied into the situation or really leveraged is probably the better way to say it. And at what point I found that I could say no, it wasn't because the company was doing so much better or you know, I had so many more means. I think I learned that I could say no and my happiness started to skyrocket at that point because I realized the cost of saying no was so much higher then um I'm sorry that the benefit of saying no rather was so much higher than the cost of saying yes.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. Yeah. And I think the benefits are myriad right? It's, it's not just what it buys you in that moment. Um, it's, it's the sense of control that comes back because to your point when, especially when you're, you know, if you're young and you're running a company, which we both did very similar companies in fact, and you're relying on client work and you're hunting to eat. The sense is that you have to kill everything that comes from it. You've got to take every one of those jobs. You've got to build them all. And and if I don't then the next one won't come right. And it was like, Do you ever you know, did you ever shoot more than one Buffalo on the Oregon trail?

Wil Schroter: No, I always died of dysentery.

Ryan Rutan: Oh well had you made it, had you made it across the green River? Uh you you would have found that you could you could shoot more than one buffalo sometimes and you can't take it all back to the wagon. Alright, There's a maximum you can carry back. But you know, early on you don't think about that, you don't think about saying no and what the benefits in doing so are and and I think that there's there's a part of that that's practical, right? One of the things that in my business I started saying no two were smaller jobs because I realized that the managerial overhead. The time it took me to administrate these smaller builds were exactly the same as the larger ones. I just made a heck of a lot less money. And I said so I'm not going to do that. That was a very practical reason. The other side of that was when I was able to start saying no, there was just an emotional change that made it feel like I was back in the driver's seat. I wasn't at the mercy of every client that came along who was willing to pay, right, willingness to pay was no longer the only barrier to entry to getting me on your team to build something for you, right? That changed at that point. And that was really freeing, right? And and that made me a lot happier. I no longer felt like I was, you know, at beck and call and that I had my own destiny in my hands at that point. And that was a huge, huge, huge increase in happiness.

Wil Schroter: Well, let me add to that. So we talked about customers as an example of something we want to say no to another part would be in the happiness factor and I think that's all in the same bucket would be employees or co workers or how, you know, co founders, However you want to put it right? You just don't want to see daily anymore ever again. It happens,

Ryan Rutan: you know,

Wil Schroter: and and everybody goes through at different levels for different reasons. I mean, relationships just don't always work. And I think at which point we can create the latitude to be like, Hey, you know what, I actually don't have to sit through this every day, you know, 12 hours a day or however long moving through it. I'm going to put my foot down and I'm gonna change something all of a sudden my startups, making me happier. It was interesting about moments like that, we were saying no to a customer were saying no to a toxic employee relationship or coworker relationship saying no to an investor, it breaks the seal. It makes you realize maybe for the first time that a lot of the things that are making you unhappy are self imposed and that our lack of action toward breaking those seals is the problem. And look, man, I've been on either side of of these outcomes. In other words, I've been on the side where I did nothing and it made me miserable for a long time and I've been on the side where I've taken action and it was a huge problem. Like I wish I could control Z that situation. I've been so bold, but I gotta say every single time I broke the seal and deliberately moved forward, my startup happiness went up by orders of magnitude overnight. I mean, Ryan, you and I have been on these journeys together, you know, with start ups dot com and some of the things we've had to face whenever we just bit the bullet and just said, dude, we're dealing with us write our startup happiness went up exponentially every other time.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, we've baked some of these principles into into things like our employee handbook, right, Which is, we don't work with jerks, right? Like when we explain our company culture, we, we specifically call out some of the things that we say no to in, I mean fully documented, right? And this is it's that important to us and you know, I think it goes back to the we both said in slightly different ways, but it puts the power at least the perception, you know, like you said, you can also you can also use that power and make the wrong decision. Wish that you could undo it. But even in the ones where you could undo and I can think of a number of examples in my own life where this is true and I would imagine that you can as well just being able to say that Yeah, I made the decision. It maybe it wasn't the right decision. Maybe I wish I could undo that, but I was free to make that decision. I was free to say the yes or the no and that drives a lot of happiness, right? Not feeling like you're leveraged in and you have to make a choice right? And like, well it's like there's an A or there be but there's really only a B when you feel like you don't have a choice, it's hard to be happy about them following through on that work, right? And and I think that's a huge thing that a lot of founders face. I've no, I've, I've gone through this at least to some degree with every one of my companies. You know, you can't always avoid it, right? I think that there's a point in time at which, you know, you do have to be a bit more of a yes man or yes woman and kind of just take care of business. But at that moment where you realize, as you said, you can break the seal and you can just start to take action in the way that you want to right for better for worse. There's still a strong sense of freedom, which I think in my case at least breeds breeds some happiness.

Wil Schroter: I agree. And it's, it's something that we can take the reins on. Also, again, if you're somebody listening and you're like, man, that sounds wonderful. But I'm kind of in a spot where I've just got to take it on the chin left and right. I think if we're going to try to work toward that, this started making me more happy now versus later. You know, this deferred gratification is a bit of a ruse. Look for something small that we can say no to if nothing more than to just start the habit of being able to push back because I think over time it's easy for us just to let the work pile up the debt pile up the commitments pile up. I think it's hard to chop them back down a little bit and regain some ground. So I would say even if you're not willing to make this big one step to say, hey, I'm gonna, you know, part company with this one coworker or I'm going to tell this one investor to go screw off et cetera. I get that those are, those are maybe big giant toxic moves. However, there are some things that we can do right away where I can say, you know, I'm just not going to work, uh, Saturdays, you know, so I'm working weekends, right? Or I'm just not going to risk any more capital. I'm gonna wait a bit and just see if this thing starts paying me back. Just the action of pushing back and re taking your ground I think is incredibly empowering also leads to a lot more happy.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. I think you're, you're absolutely right. I think that in one on one hand, it gives you some confidence and teaching to be a bit more self reliant. And I think that, you know, like you said in your case, you were conditioned to accept that leverage. And so it was a behavior pattern that was deep seated that had to change. And so it doesn't really matter how big that first step towards changing that is. It's important, right? That that that first little twist and saying like, you know what, not today, um, can can have really, really big implications in the long term.

Wil Schroter: Well, and I think if we advance that when we're talking about when will my startup start making me happier? It's when it gets easier and easier to say the word no

Ryan Rutan: yeah, right? Any feeling of compromise, right? When I can say it. And I know that like I realize now that there's enough going, right, that's saying no to just about anything isn't going to negatively impact the business. And that's the point where you're that's panacea, right,

Wil Schroter: Right choices versus options. So when we look at that, I think that that's one vector that's been really popular for me and I'm guessing this this this affects you as well. What actually was a bit of a turning point in the different businesses that I worked on that worked well, that made me happier, which is about half of them is when I could stop thinking about it. I don't know if everybody processes stuff the way I know nobody process with stuff the way I do. So let me take that off the table. I am just maniacal about stuff. When I've got something that I'm working on, it's all I can think about a time tunnel visioned around it and it haunts my dreams. I mean, I'm not exaggerating. I mean it's every waking moment. It's during conversations where I'm talking, I'm thinking about something else that's possible. But I remember being at lunch holding conversations with people where I don't remember what we talked about because my head was thinking about whatever startup problem I had and it consumed me 24 7

Ryan Rutan: and thinking about it thinking about it's probably not the right word. I think I think what you meant was obsessing about it. Obsessing Yeah, because I think that that it's a more adequate and accurate description of how we actually do it right? I don't know, I never really stopped thinking about it, but I think it stops being constantly front and center, like you said, like I'm having a conversation with someone, I'm talking to my wife um and and then I hear myself saying something like how in the hell did we get to this point in the conversation? Did I just agree to buy a car? What happened? Um and like because you aren't, you aren't there mentally and you know, I think that there are points in time, certainly there was a point in time for me where I felt like that was some kind of a superpower, like there's no off switch, I'm just always on and always thinking about my startup, It's gonna be so much better because it will have my full attention 24 hours a day, whether I'm awake asleep or talking to somebody about something else important, I'm there, I'm I'm in it to win it right as we age and as we go through this, you know, more, more times, I think we start to realize that um burning the candle at both ends doesn't necessarily make it any faster easier to, to grow. Um and you end up with a lot less candle a lot faster. And so I think that it is an important lesson to know that we should break that cycle of, of constant obsession and always be thinking about it, but that's another one of the things we're like, I think people listening now we're going to say, yeah, cool. Now that you guys are eight years in on this one, I'm sure you can think about a little bit less. You also have more people helping you to think about it. Um you know when you're early stage solo founder there there are these times where you may need to invest an inordinate amount of time and thought into it, but this is not what we're talking about, we're talking about at what point does it make us happier and absolutely the minute we can stop obsessing is one of those moments

Wil Schroter: and and even if we, if we give ourselves again, we're looking for little ways, we can take milestone breaks, you know, toward that happiness now or at least where we can see it's starting to to change from it's state right now, this kind of, you know, evil all consuming state to something that starts to pay us back a bit when I can stop thinking about it is also when I have the luxury of not thinking about it, you know, as you pointed out when we're doing nothing but racking up debt, it's kind of hard to stop thinking about it because you know, I'm going to bed crying about it, I'm waking up probably crying about it. You know, like I, I don't have a choice but to be thinking about it all the time when we start to see that startup go from beat me into the ground to hey, maybe I'm enjoying it. It sounds odd, but it's when I stopped thinking about it, it's when I'm just like paying attention to football or I'm going building something my workshop and playing with my kid and I'm just not thinking about it all the time because I have the luxury of thinking about other things the moment that world starts opening back up. I know I'm starting to head toward the right side of this story.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, it's interesting and I'm sure that there's, there's probably an entire episode around this, but we could, we could dig into. I think it's one of the reasons that a lot of founders are attracted are adrenaline junkies. They're attracted to things that drive adrenaline because I think for for a lot of us, especially at that point where we are fully obsessed, something dangerous, something that drives adrenaline, Something that steals every bit of our focus is the only way to change that focus, alright, if there is an immediate threat of death, okay, I'll prioritize that for a couple of minutes, right? Otherwise, like you said, you're in the middle of a conversation, you're you're at a kid's soccer game, You're, you're somewhere where by all rights, you should be present and enjoying that And yet your mind is a million miles away back at your desk with start up on your mind, Right? And so I think that there's again, it was probably an entire episode there to unpack around what else that says about us as founders. But so many of us are adrenaline junkies and needs something that truly, truly fully occupies their mind and takes your attention away from it, because we can't intentionally do that, right? We can't just say like, hey, I'm gonna break my attention, I'm gonna go and I'm gonna do something else for a little while, and we just get stuck in these loops of constant recirculation of thoughts on the startup. And I'll be honest, like, in my own case, most of the time it wasn't that productive, right? It was truly just obsessing. It didn't actually help anything.

Wil Schroter: There's parts where I love obsessing, you know, we're working on some products right now. I didn't enjoy it. I just said no, no, no, no much. Yeah. Yeah. Listen, I think the difference here is the optionality of not having to think

Ryan Rutan: about right

Wil Schroter: before. It wasn't just I was so excited all the time that I just I couldn't think about anything else. There's some of that, but most of it was I was terrified all the time. And I couldn't stop worrying about it. And so I was reactive I was in fight or flight mode the entire time and that's not a luxury. You know, at some point, it's doing more harm than good, just like you're saying, right, you know, at some of those thoughts are good, Most of them aren't there? Just worrying for the sake of worrying

Ryan Rutan: about the same thing for the fourth time? The fifth time. I'm not generating new thought, I'm just going back through the same damn thing again,

Wil Schroter: which is most of Yeah, that's most of what, what are worrying? You know, instinct kind of is at which point we can say, hey, I'm going to worry about this, but I can stop and go play with my kid in life will be okay. That is totally different, right? And I think at which point our startup starts making us happier. It's when we don't have to obsess about things, we don't have to worry about things, life is going to be okay, we can doesn't mean, you know, we're turning off our drive. It's just not a survival mechanism at that point, like, that's it's so obvious when it's there and when it's not there. And I think it dovetails into another kind of related point, which is when it's not the only thing in my life.

Ryan Rutan: Yes, I was getting ready to go, let's take this, let's take this one step higher and say, here's the reason we no longer have to obsess about it, and that's because it's not necessarily the most important thing anymore,

Wil Schroter: right? I gotta say, I look back on this now. But from the time when I was 19 to about 25, I did nothing but work 24/7 three, And and again, people go back and they romanticize what that is like, Oh, I was working all the time. Like, dude, no, you weren't like how many vacations that I remember you going on etc. I went three years and I never even saw my family for christmas. I mean, I've never stopped working. It didn't even occur to me that I could or should. And my point there is I was obsessed. I was excited about the business, but I definitely wasn't happy. There's a huge difference, huge difference, right? And I didn't understand at that time again, I just hadn't been around long enough, didn't have enough reps on the planet to understand what was happening. But here's what happened. My startup consumed me. It became every instinct in me was was based on the startup, right? It was like my neurons, If the startup was doing well, I was doing well, if it hit a rough patch, I hit a rough patch, there was no balance outside of the startup and it ruined me because it's not a very healthy relationship.

Ryan Rutan: No, not at all. It's not, it's not good for you or the startup. In fact, because it's at that very moment, we've talked about this in, in actually touched on this in more than one episode, but when the startup starts to struggle is when it needs you the most right? And so if you are inextricably tied to this thing, if you are linked such a deep level that the second the the startup starts to take a downturn, that you also mentally, emotionally, physically start to take a downturn, it makes it that much harder to to course correct. And of course, it's easy to say all right, because of course were closely tied to these things. Um and so, like this point that we're discussing now, you know, it's no longer being the most important thing and no longer being, you know, entirely wrapped up in our identity and vice versa, That's transcendence, right? That's not easy write it with. And this isn't something that even I think everyone achieves with every one of their businesses, even if they're successful, I don't know that this is always a foregone conclusion that you get to that point where you can separate yourself to that level. Alright, this is this is level 10 wizard ship,

Wil Schroter: right? It is, It is. But but listen man, we get to a point in our, in our lives where, you know, let's say we're single and this is the only thing we have going on, like, like it wasn't my case, right? I think at that point it's easy to get consumed, it's easy to say, hey, whatever is happening here is all that's happening, my life didn't change until I had kids, right? Like for the first time in my life there was something else more important and I'm not discounting that from saying my relationship with, with my wife, but her and I kind of kind of road that the ups and downs together, right? So it, it kind of felt like we're both on the same plane. My kids don't give a damn about what's happening at work and I hope they never do right now to be fair, right? You know, like kids are so young and so at that point, all of a sudden my, the most important startup was the one that I was building at home and at first I thought that was going to be a challenge with, you know, trying to build a company and Ryan and I, you and I both had the same kind of thoughts because we built families at the same time and it wound up being one of the most valuable aspects to changing my perspective because what, what happened, what was all of a sudden, I wasn't chained to 100% of the emotional roller coaster, just what, what was happening at work, right? Like I had a life outside of work, it's kind of that simple for the first time in my life and all of a sudden stuff happened at work and it bummed me out and it's not that it didn't bother me, it just wasn't 100% of my emotional energy and that changed things dramatically. Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: it's, it can be an interesting um, additional support in your overall mental and emotional well being, right? Like having family and friends there, there are a lot of pillars that support us as founders, but to your point, there are times in the startup where we're just so consumed with what we're doing that those other supports don't, don't exist. I mean in the case of our families, they truly like kids just didn't exist at all. But even before that, I had, I had friends, I had, I had existing family and they sort of went by the wayside, right? I just ignored them. Um, and so I think that it does take, it's like I was saying before about the adrenaline thing, right, we need something like some seminal moment, whether it comes in like kind of cracks us out of that family being one of them and I think there are things that can happen, but certainly for both of us, I think that was, that was a major turning point in being able to say I am more than this startup company and the startup company is more than just me, right? And so we can both exist a bit separately, right? And I do remember that there, there's just like with, with kids, you know, around the 18 month old stage where they get that horrible separation anxiety, I definitely have gone through phases of that as well, where it's like I did distance myself a little bit more and I was trying to convince myself it was no longer the most important thing and then the further I would get from it, the more scared I would be. And it actually drove more anxiety um

Wil Schroter: in the short term. Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: yeah, so, so it cuts both ways

Wil Schroter: and I think once we start to diversify kind of the amount of emotional investment we've got, which is so healthy, hard to do, but incredibly powerful. It's transcendent. It is and it actually makes us better at our startups because I think when we're so heavily emotionally invested every single rockin the boat, we react more than we need to weigh more than we need to. I know I did, we react way more than we need to, we start looking at all the little changes that happen daily when we're supposed to be looking at a little bit more of a long view as you know, is this a blip or a trend. Um and the easy way to get stuck in that is have nothing else to focus on. Um and so I think once we're able to zoom out and, and often it's a, it's a learned and earned kind of behavior right? Where we've, we've been doing the startup long enough where we can say, you know, things are going to be okay. I can go focus on this other thing for a minute and things will still be okay. That is when we are happiness starts to kind of go up A level.

Ryan Rutan: I mean, you know what's really interesting about everything we've talked about today is that there are 100% in our control, right? Like there wasn't anything that we talked about, any of those three points that required anything more and then kind of a shift in mindset, right?

Wil Schroter: It is, and I think when you and I were recounting our younger years very long ago, I think one of the things we were implying wasn't that we couldn't make those decisions is that we just didn't know that we could, right, right? We we didn't know, we could say no, we didn't know, we could stop thinking about it, we didn't know that that had to be the only thing we were working on. I think it wasn't until we had some more time and we learned a little bit more more experience where all of a sudden we started to say, you know what, I actually have the luxury of being able to say, I don't want to do this or I want to focus my time elsewhere and lo and behold that makes me happier. So I think we just inherently started doing more of that, but we could have gone back from the start or if we were coaching someone right now, I could absolutely sit down with a founder and say, look, you're not in shangri La Town today obviously, but let's deliberately pick off a couple of tiny things you can do to start making that light at the tunnel a little bit more clear, a little more close to you. And I think that's very open to us.

Ryan Rutan: No, I think so too. I think it proves the possibility and it was what I was saying before around breaking that cycle of being conditioned to accept being leveraged, right? It's the same thing. I think once, even if it's a tiny little step, once we take that first one, your analogy of breaking the seal was exactly right. And then once you do that, once doing it again and again and again and kind of dialing up the, I don't know the magnitude of what you're saying no to or what you're not paying attention to or you know what is the most important in your life becomes that much easier. It starts with a small step and I think you can build and I think you're absolutely right that we could take, you know, a founder who started yesterday and help them to understand they can start doing these things right now. There isn't really a point at which you earn the right to do it. I think you just stumble across the realization that you

Wil Schroter: can, yeah. And you know, one thing we didn't mention specifically in, in any of this, we didn't say things like it'll start making me happier when it's generating more revenue or when it's profitable or when, you know, we get out of debt or we raise around or we sell the company and all of those are wonderful by all means great goals. Don't get me wrong,

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, but sure as hell don't wait until those happen to be happy.

Wil Schroter: There are also just a means to this end, right. Most of the folks myself included who say, hey, you know, this is when it made me happier. It's when they realized they could take these steps, not when when the, the business, you know, magically allowed them. In fact, I would say some of my, my toughest runs, you know, when I was thinking in terms of when I was beating myself up the most, when I was least happy, it was when we were making plenty of money. So I think people forget when they haven't been making any money is making money as stressful as hell too because stakes go up left and right, you have all kinds of people that are now entering into the equation that, that want their hand in things, investors, partners, employees, everybody and now it gets way more stressful, way more moving parts

Ryan Rutan: again. Feel an entire episode coming on around

Wil Schroter: that we could go on all day. The point though is uh, the basis for making yourself happier when the startup will make you happier is when you take control of that outcome and start making deliberate steps to making it happen.

Ryan Rutan: That's a wrap for this episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan on behalf of my partner Wil Schroder and all the startups dot com family thanking you for joining us and we hope you'll continue to join us. Be sure to subscribe rate and comment on itunes or wherever you love to listen to startup therapy. You can find all of our episodes at startups dot com slash podcast. If you're looking for more amazing resources to launch or grow your startup, be sure to head to startups dot com and check out startups unlimited. It's everything we have to offer from our online university to our amazing community of experts and founders and even all the tools we've built like biz plan, fungible and launch rock. It's everything A founder needs visit startups dot com slash begin that startups dot com slash B E G I N. You'll thank me later.

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