I’m back. Back from an adventure. I never planned to leave. I never intended to go so far. It just happened. An accidental adventure I guess.
And although the outcome isn’t what I had planned, it’s a road I am proud to have explored.
Don Miller says that every character enters a story because of an “inciting incident.” They have to get fired from their job or sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased, and they have to jump into the discomfort and fear. Otherwise the story will never happen.
For me that beginning was a conversation with a business owner. I pitched an idea to solve a problem I have observed in dozens of other businesses. I pitched a web application that would solve this problem in a new way and make things simple, effective, and productive.
They loved it.
I built a demo of how it would work and shopped it around to other business owners. The response – outstanding. People had to have it. Their own searches for a solution had come up wanting, and my idea was just what they needed.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that response. I was expecting some lukewarm pleasantries with no commitments or excitement. I wasn’t expecting to get emails asking when it would be available or how they could help.
And so I stood at the crossroads of my plan for Life Stoked and an idea that just wouldn’t leave me alone. But there was just one problem.
I’m not a programmer. Although I’ve spent my professional career writing code here and there (and even spent two years as a full time software engineer) I’ve never attempted to write a web application from scratch.
I had two options.
1) I could find a partner who did know how to build it, which I tried pretty hard to do.
2) I could start.
How my son made my decision
About that time we celebrated my son’s first birthday. I remember imagining years into the future when he would come to me with his own hair brained idea of something he could build. I imagined how I hoped I would encourage him no matter how crazy his idea. I thought about how I’d show him what the first step was, and how he could do this thing for real.
I thought about how he’d feel as he took his first step into the unknown. Scared. Excited. Full of potential.
And I imagined not having my own story to tell.
What if all I could tell him about was the time I had a great idea, but I decided I didn’t have enough time to give it a try. Or I was afraid of something I didn’t know how to do?
What if everything I knew about building a product from scratch came from books, blogs, and second hand stories?
My hand was forced. Forced by a dedication to the pursuit of excellence. Forced by a commitment to raise my son to embrace his own adventurous heart.
So I decided to start.