That’s right. I took the plunge.
For the first time since this crazy journey began I’m working on my startup wholly. No contract work, no nine-to-five, no side projects, and as I’m quickly discovering, no free time to think/write about anything! I started writing this post on 22nd June and only just got time this evening to proof read it and click Publish.
justFDI began with an email, from me to Spode. It took about 20 minutes of digging around old inboxes, but I found it, dated 26/04/2009:
Another sleepless night got me thinking- we should really start getting these ideas / products off the ground.
Here’s what I propose: justfdi.com
JustFDI seemed like a good name for a company at 4.30am. By registering as a proper company, we have limited liability, can pour different amounts of equity & debt funding in, be paid by it as staff, and add/ remove people (including ourselves) with relative ease.
JustFDI would start services, launch products, build websites, consult on other projects, whatever.
And just like that, we started. The name, short for Just Fucking Do It, marked my intention that we bootstrap a company and approach each project with the attitude that we would deliver or die trying.
It’s now 2012 and I’m finally working at justFDI full-time. The time it has taken to get this far is easily double what I anticipated, but I’m thankful for the journey here and the lessons I’ve learnt. And I cringe at how cheesy that last sentence reads.
Joel wrote about ways to bootstrap a startup on the side which I think is a pretty accurate description of what that path looks like.
I have not seen anyone talk about the immediate shock of having all your time to coordinate for yourself. For at least the first two weeks, I had this sick feeling in my stomach, which I guess was guilt. I felt like I was skipping work and I feared a phone call at any stage from my former employer asking where the hell I was. My mind and body both craved that routine to the extent that it felt very similar to when I quit smoking.
Next came a wave of uncertainty about what I was actually supposed to do with my time. To go from spending evenings and weekends on my startup, to having all hours of the day and night to pour my heart and soul into work – this was a massive change. I needed a whole new approach to time and task management.
What saved me was getting set up with a proper office that wasn’t in or near my house. Working from home isn’t something I could adjust to. I either found myself completely distracted, or unable to separate myself from my work, and really anti-social to the extent you could say I had cabin fever.
I am pleased to say that for the first time – I feel like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.