I think it hits us all when we sleep. Mine are in the form of boats, struggling in the shallows with no lights and no charts in the gathering twilight, or diving off spectacularly tall waterfalls, lead keel and mast and sails and all, just tumbling over the froth.
I wake up – and it’s week five. I’ve had a spectacularly bad start to the month, having caught a case of flu, swimming through fever dreams, night sweats and coughing fits. In that time I had reason to question my sanity ever leaving my corporate masters to try this crazy indie thing.
But, rule one of entrepreneurship: don’t make decisions when you’re sick. Don’t look at your numbers, your charts, your strategies. Don’t try to put together excel sheets. Do not attempt math.
Eventually, it passed, leaving me the leftovers in my lungs and a lingering doubt in my mind – with my math cells back on line and knowing my burn rate, I calculated the flu had just wiped out 1/36th of my cash. And I froze inside. Pure spacebound carbon-dioxide ice, from the heart outward.
I was terrified. Terrified I hadn’t made progress. Terrified that all my PowerPoints, excel sheets, all my planning and thinking was going to come to nothing, just an endless unstoppable burn of cash until the last dollar goes up like a thin flap of flashpaper and there’s nothing but darkness.
Why do we procrastinate? Plenty of folks have answers, some are good. For me, procrastination happens because of the terror of failure – and they both follow a similar pattern I had to recognize. [Read more...]