March 2016 saw the one year anniversary since Pin Seekerz first launched on the Apple app store.
In our first year we managed to:
- firstly get the product to market
- work with two of the biggest YouTube stars
- sign professional golfers and influential golfing figures to the business
- align ourselves with influential golfing brands.
If you had told me we would achieve all of this in our first year I probably would have laughed and said no way.
But we did.
However, it wasn’t all nice jolly ventures and like anything in life you have to take good with the good and bad with the bad.
Yes, the above was an amazing feeling and something I am personally proud of but the stuff people don’t see outside of the core team I am equally proud of.
I have shared in previous posts the achievements but I want to give little insight into the other elements that made up our first year.
Comments can hurt.
After our initial launch it was great to see people downloading and using the app but we knew it was going to be tough as no matter how much you test, there will always be bugs.
Low and behold there were.
One thing I was not expecting was how personal I would take these comments, whether that’s on social media, app store reviews or emails.
I like to think I am a tough person and can take my fair share of comments, abuse or whatever you want to call it, but when people commented negatively about the app, that affected me way more.
However, whilst this seems a little pathetic, what it did was fuel me to put these things right and make a better product.
I am guilty of myself before starting Pin Seekerz of taking to social media when I was unhappy with a product or service but after being the on the receiving end of it and experiencing it first hand, it is something I will never do.
Yes, we always want feedback but next time you’re dis-satisfied, just think about the person/founder receiving these comments and I encourage you all to do this in a private forum, and if you're starting your own business, be prepared!
Change of lifestyle
People I meet and chat to about how PS is going or people who want to start their own business always ask “How did you have the courage to leave work?”
The answer is, I didn’t think about it really.
That may sound arrogant or stupid but it’s the truth.
At the time, I had a good job that I loved that paid well enough.
But after getting PS to market, I knew that if I didn’t leave my job and put my all into it then it would never work and I would always have that ‘what if’ around it.
I therefore knew that I needed to leave and commit to PS full time but the thing that cemented it and made it easier was my dad, who is one for structure and stability and a man who’s not afraid to make his opinions known said to me “You have to do it”.
With that almost stamp of approval I left my job.
Now if I had sat down and worked out my pay cut, living costs and lifestyle etc. before leaving then I would arguably have never left.
Again, what seems to be a stupid oversight actually turned out to be my greatest move as I just did it.
That being said however, you cannot prepare yourself for life as a real startup.
I won’t go into every little thing that affects you when you go on your own and take this step but if you are thinking of starting your own business and want to chat, just contact me.
However, I will share the most important and biggest factor that isn’t about you but about the people around you.
When you make that decision to change your life and follow your passion, it’s exactly that. Your life and your decision.
You are doing what you want to do but you need to consider the impact it will have on the people around you.
I can live with the same £3 meal every day of the week and not going out for dinners, drinks or buying clothes as that was my choice but that has a direct or even indirect impact on friends, family and partners.
I was lucky enough that when I left my job, it was just me. I did not have a wife, mortgage or kids so in reality, I didn’t have an awful lot to lose.
But what I failed to acknowledge for the first 10 months was how my lifestyle choice, behaviour and devotion to working of PS affected the people around me.
I lost touch with friends who to be fair after asking me constantly to come out and me saying no, you can’t blame them for not asking anymore.
At the time as well I had a girlfriend who in all honesty was very chilled about me leaving my job and pursuing my passion which again made it easier.
However, as time went on and I got more and more involved in work and me being unable to talk to her about what was going on and the world I was now in I became more and more within myself which ended up in us growing apart.
But with everything, you have to learn from this. Yes I take responsibility for becoming almost a recluse and only seeing PS, but would I change it? Absolutely not.
At that particular time, the business needed my all to get it to a point where I can now have a better work/life balance.
Funnily enough, since my break up I am now enjoying working on PS again but more importantly have made a real conscious effort to carve time out for friends, family and just having fun which has made the most dramatic difference to my life.
So, from my personal experience I would encourage anyone who is doing their own thing or thinking about it, give it your all…. You have to, but always be aware of others around you and don’t let it go too far as you soon realise the people around you keep you sane and give you perspective on what you’re doing.