Solving world hunger (or not)

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My business partner and I Chris were yapping as we always do on the train ride home about business and the coming days, and we landed on an interesting topic. Pride.

Currently both of us are working dang hard to build a startup called Tenrocket.com as we really feel its needed, and it’s a way for us to give back to the startup community. Though both of us individually have other startups that we really want to build and feel called to in many ways. Tenrocket started just as a way to give back a little and to provide some money in the mean time, unexpectedly though it’s started to really take off. Which in many ways has caused us some angst. We feel that we need to give Tenrocket the love and attention it deserves, though it is at the sacrifice of delaying the companies we’d like to build and problems we want to solve.

Which brings us to the point we spoke about on the train. Pride. Which brought up the question… Would we be ok if someone else solved the problem that we we’re trying to solve? Chris likened it to solving world hunger.

What if you felt like you had the answer to solving all the worlds’ hunger problems, you began scheming your elaborate plan to bring it to fruition. Years (lets say 3 or 4 years) into your journey, you pick up the paper and read that someone has finally done it… They have solved the world hunger crisis, all is right in the world.
Or is it? How would that make you feel? Of course you would want to be happy, but it was your dream, your idea, and someone beat you to it.

We thought about that in our own respective startups we want to launch and unfortunately it revealed that same pride. We we’re at the end of the day more concerned how others would view us in the pursuit of solving the problem, making sure we we’re outpacing anyone else in that field in order to solve it first.

Now in one part of this, pride encourages competition. It causes you to work a lot harder, press father than anyone else, and give more of your self than anyone around you. That is the blessing of competition. Though if your not careful it will cause you to focus on all the wrong things. Instead of pressing harder out of joy, you will do it out of fear. Instead of staying up late because you can’t wait to release the next part of your product, your doing it out of worry that someone else is going to release it first. You start noticing more about what others are doing in your field stressing that they are doing to get ahead of you. You start to lose the real reason you began in the first place, out of passion for building something amazing to solve a real need, and ultimately helping and serving others.

Both of us realized that this was affecting us more than we’d like and decided to make sure we’re pursuing all our ideas with passion and peace, not out of stress and worry, that it just wouldn’t be worth it if we’re not enjoying it. Because isn’t the journey the most important part of this whole process anyways? At least that’s what everyone tells me…

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