Entrepreneur Beginners Guide
“You Feel Unequaled Joy When Your Idea Becomes Reality”
“It’s alive!” —Dr. Frankenstein, in Frankenstein
After launching my website as a college sophomore, I used to go to the campus computer labs of different school’s and set the default website of the browsers to my site. Doing this was not only an effective way to introduce the website to students, but it also allowed me to witness how students reacted to seeing and to using the site for the first time.
Most of the first-time visitors were surprised to discover a professional-looking website that creatively showcased their schools with news, photos, and video. In fact, some students who came to the lab with their friends would immediately share the website with the people who came with them. They were that excited. Mean-while, I observed the students navigating my website—noticing what they clicked on, how long they stayed on the site, and what expressions they had on their faces. Many students stayed on the site for a long period of time, clicking through the photo galleries, chatting with friends, browsing personals, and enjoying the site’s features.
As the site grew in popularity, I saw more students using it. Being able to watch people use and enjoy something I created was especially gratifying and gave me a sense of joy that I had never experienced. Often when you come up with an idea, it doesn’t always work in the real world the way you envisioned’ it would didn’t have that problem. I got it right the first time.
Likewise, when I launched my magazine a few years later, I watched readers flip through the pages. Again, I had a hit with the magazine as readers all around Atlanta loved it and anticipated the arrival of the next issue. I felt the same joy that I received from watching users browse the website.
Perhaps the most joy carne from receiving positive feedback from viewers of my website, readers of my magazine, and eventually users of my software products. The feedback that I remember most came from a mother whose daughter was in France as an exchange student during the terrorist attacks of September l1, 2001. She wrote me a poignant letter describing how her daughter viewed my website often to stay connected with her school and country. It was a difficult time for her young daughter while she was in Europe, and visiting my website enabled her to escape the anti-American sentiment she received at the time. The mother was truly grateful and moved enough to write me a thank-you letter. I was elated to know that my website served as an emotional haven for her daughter, something I never would have imagined.
What do these anecdotes have to do with being an entrepreneur? They exhibit the fact that entrepreneurs take immense pride and joy in transforming their idea into reality. Knowing that your idea actually works and has impacted the world in some way is a feeling like no other. For many, it’s even a greater feeling than making the first sale or receiving the first payment.
I am reminded of the overwhelming sense of joy that the character Dr. Emmett Brown—affectionately known as Doc—displays in one of my favorite movies, Back to the Future. When Doc realizes that his time machine works, he is speechless for a few seconds, in a state of euphoric amazement. Then he dances down the street as if no one is watching. It’s moments like this and the ones I shared that motivate entrepreneurs to create; moments like these make our enterprising pursuits that much more special.