To start cooking again…start with the eggplant
This was a very strategic step in self-motivation, given a few components of my personality:
1. I really like to eat eggplant parmesan
2. I feel very guilty when I waste food
3. Eggplant has a relatively short shelf life
The combination of these factors all but guaranteed that I would cook my own eggplant parmesan within a week of purchasing the eggplant. But it is important to observe that the eggplant was the pivotal motivating factor. While the oil, flour, eggs, pasta, marinara sauce, and cheese had been idly stocked in my kitchen for weeks, perfectly capable of comprising a complete meal, the eggplant is what got me to stop procrastinating, to stop being scared of culinary failure, and to dive into cooking once more.
While eating and cooking food is no doubt an important part of my life, this post is really about entrepreneurship. The creativity of cooking is personally rewarding to me, but is far less significant than the work we are doing at AwesomeTouch (http://awesometouch.org). This eggplant experience, however, provides an excellent parallel for some of my struggles in starting a company. For one, I really using innovative touch screen applications. I’ve been doing just that since I was that nerdy kid with my dad’s hand-me-down Palm Pilot in middle school. But this year, I decided it was time to be on the creation side of touch screen applications. This wasn’t an easy step. I thought about it for months. Then, I took the pivotal leap of faith: I quit my other job, started a company, and put my own money into the game. This worked well because:
1. I really like using touch screens
2. I don’t like losing money
3. The amount of funding we had available would run out quickly
Similar to the eggplant, the first step in commitment was pivotal, but all the necessary tools for starting a company were there: time, talent, and opportunity.
Moral of the story: when you see something worth pursuing, throw your hat into the game. Finding yourself out of your comfort zone is one of the best motivators available, so do what you have to do to facilitate that first step. You just might like the touch screen (or eggplant parmesan) at the end of your path.
The title of this post is an allusion to a blog post by my friend, business partner, and roommate Luke Murray (http://twitter.com/LukeMD). In it, he references a story in ‘Rework’, a book by the people of 37 Signals. See that post ‘Focus on the Hotdog’ at http://awesomeinc.org