I am so relieved to be writing this post because I’ve been scared for a really long time. It is complete BS when people jump up and cheer about their new company’s launch, telling you how great they feel. Because what’s really happening, to any sane entrepreneur, is that they are terrified.
Quistic is an online learning site where people can build skills to create stable, fulfilling careers. It’s the natural result of all the conversations and events we’ve had together on this blog.
Here’s what I want to happen: Every one of you should try a course, because I really think you’ll like it.
At first I panicked that I was not doing online courses the way everyone else does. But I received effusive feedback about how much people love my video seminars, and then I realized I know how to make online learning feel like a party instead of a lecture. That’s when I decided to make a company out of it.
When I was testing if Quistic would work as a company, I had some of my friends sell Quistic-style courses to their communities, and it went really well. I did this furtively, of course, because I’m scared to do anything in front of you that will fail. I know that’s lame. I know that rock star entrepreneurs say they embrace failure and failure is actually growth and all that. It’s just that they are not saying it while they’re failing. They’re saying it from their yacht in the Bahamas with their hot model wife crawling all over them. And, also, let me just add that entrepreneurship is so overly glorified that all those hot model wives also have their own startups. Apps, usually. Just something small, to talk about at cocktail parties. In Vail.
The time when I get mean is when I’m scared. That’s how I know I need to launch. Because any minute now I’m going to start naming names for all the apps of wives of investors I know.
But I can’t do that because if I’ve done anything right so far it’s been to become the queen of fundraising. And also, I’ve been the queen of hiring. Here’s what I did. I coach all these people who are totally amazing but for various reasons they are underemployed. I keep a running list of them in my head and I hired a bunch of them for this company. It’s been a great experience because I already know all their secrets because I coached them, and they already know all my secrets because they read my blog, so I have a company with no BS because we have nothing to hide.
Well, there has been a little bit of BS. The BS in my company is me making excuses for not launching our site. First, I told the team that we are making good money anyway, with products that do not require a consumer web site. This is true. And also, we’re doing online events with impressive companies, like this one with Philips. So we are making good headway with no web site.
So my co-workers left me alone about how we are not launching.
Then I told them we had to not launch because part of getting to the next round of funding is having steadily building revenue from all the courses I’ve been running as test cases. So we didn’t want to have too much revenue in September. “Trust me,” I told them. So they did.
Then, toward the middle of October there was sort of an intervention. It was as if I was not going to work and instead staying home shooting heroin. Except that really I was writing blog posts about not launching instead of launching. The team couldn’t take it any more.
Alex said, “I’ve seen a lot of startups launch and the ones that fail are crushed by the eccentric perfectionism of the CEO.”
Emily said, “I feel like I’m in a hostage situation.”
Cassie said, “I think you need me to call you each hour today to make sure that you’re on track to publish your launch post tomorrow.”
That last comment was particularly deflating because I’ve spent pretty much the last month calling Cassie every day making sure her sales will come through. I keep telling her she needs to take more responsibility for hitting weekly revenue goals.
So maybe the reason I’m finally announcing the site is so I can go back to being the person who tells everyone else they need to get their work done on time.
But I think the real reason I’m finally announcing this site is that everything I do is more fun when I do it with you. I came up with this company idea because of all the ways I tried to make money from my blog, the online courses were not only the most successful but they also made the most lasting difference among community members.
I have a grand idea that this community will lead the way for how to build skills and have fun in a career that does not destroy your life but rather makes it fulfilling. Our community has been forward thinking on a lot of levels, and I think online learning will be one of them.
So, here’s hoping I meet a lot of you in the classes. And here’s the link to my new company: Quistic.