In the early days of Roundpeg, I talked to a lot of people and got a lot of advice about the business. Some of the best advice came in a short conversation with my brother Jason. I was talking about the idea, and I casually mentioned, that if it didn’t work out, I could always get another job.
And Jason, who is rarely serious, was serious when he told me emphatically that I couldn’t go get another job, ever! If Roundpeg was going to be successful, he told me, I had to believe it was the last job I would ever have. That if I went down this path, there was no turning back
He argued if I approached this with the attitude I could always go back to my old life, I would split my energy attention. I would have to spend a certain amount of time and energy focused on making sure my escape route remained clear. And if I wasn’t 100% committed, it would significantly reduce my chance of success.
He was right, but at the time, I have to admit I kind of half listened, nodded, and went on with my day. For the first few years I was in the business and I was working really hard, I always had this idea in the back of my mind that I had a way out.
Then one day someone offered me a job. It was at a time when the business wasn’t doing well, and the job would have been an easy way out. But I said no, because I wasn’t ready to give up on Roundpeg. At that moment I remembered my brother’s words. and really understood what my brother had been talking about. I had been living with one foot in each pool, never really diving in.
When I finally embraced the idea that there was no turning back I began to make investments in time, infrastructure and people. And Roundpeg became successful. It took me awhile to hear the advice of my brother, but it finally sunk in. And over the years, he has lots of other valuable things to tell me, and I am sure he will have more in the years to come.