Not sure if its aggression, unending pursuit, that feeling that if you can only go longer, faster, stronger than anyone else is willing to go. Something to prove. Just have to do it because you keep hearing over and over its not possible. To build a business in China, in the internet industry.
So I took this trip up to Beijing primarily for the innosai startup competition on Dec 26th. They said its meant to be international, and they want more westerners to go, so they put it on Dec 26th as its a holiday and foreigners will have time off to go? Crazy logic right, Dec 26th is almost the most inconvenient time to do it for a westerner, as they are probably traveling outside of China. But I’m here in China, and I came up to get a chance to win some recognition, and hopefully some cash.
Booked the trip a bit earlier than the demo event so that I could meet friends and do some other business meetings here in Beijing. Typing this up on a Saturday night, Dec 22nd, and I think this feeling I’m getting is many that people get when they are away from their family and friends on a holiday.
As I have said in the past, sometimes its helpful for me to type out all the reason I am overly stressed and help me hash it out.
- Stress in fundraising for my startup – I guess there is some good progress in raising an angel round for Social Agent, but having options also creates stress in the decision making process. Which offer to take, valuation, do we need this much cash, do we need more, is the budget for the next 12 months missing anything? Advisors and business expert friends giving me conflicting advice and feedback. And not a little bit different, some are giving me completely different strong opinions on what steps to take. Digesting it, writing down all the options. May blog about it later, but still want to develop it a bit more. Really stressful.
- Stress in pushing business (customers, team) forward, no matter what – And as the above is going on, the normal stress of a startup process must go on. Chinaccelerator incubator was a “nest”, now that we have “hatched” and are out into the “wild” we still are pushing forward building out the product, getting beta customers setup, and building communication and workflows in the team. Have to keep this going forward no matter what. Some friends say I can’t force things, that I have to let them happen as they are meant to happen, but I think that is just an easy way of saying “give up”. Come on, life just doesn’t happen – We have to make things happen for us!
- Holidays Away from Family – And yes, Christmas day this year I have an investor meeting at lunch, afternoon meeting with Sina weibo API department, and evening meeting with the innosai startup organization. I put a facebook status update, that I’m booking meetings on Christmas day in China, and I know its not a holiday in China (as some friends reminded me) but I’m still pretty amazed at myself for booking meetings on the 25th of December. I have had a few Christmas’s in China now, some working a half-day or so in my office, but never so formal and of high importance as this year.
- Freezing cold in Beijing! – enough said! I’m freezing! And its a very dry cold!
- Maybe need some trip outside of China – A lot of my foreign friends who have been in China longer than me (though now, I’m here almost 6 years) have said you have to take some time outside of China at least every 6 months to “stay grounded” with reality. I agree there. Chinese TV is on in the background as I type this, everything around me is Chinese. I guess I do not have many friends in Beijing either (Chinese or Foreign), so that is making it even harder. Think I will try to go to Philppines or Thailand sometime soon. But really can’t take a trip now, have a lot of pressure for closing an angel round.
So there it is, I feel a bit better listing this out. I think being under this pressure I have said and done some things that are not normal for me. Maybe I am also changing. I do feel I have changed a lot in 2012…I closed down my first business (bar product e-commerce) earlier in the year, and found what I do want to do in my business and my career.
But I think I need to give myself a bit of a holiday.