Just not one of mine….
Throughout most of my traditional business career I have followedthe old adage of “fake it until you make it”. Real stats and numbers were kept close to the chest and you never let your competition see you sweat! It took thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to develop and market a product and/or create a business. Clearly, the World Wide Web, computer technology, open source code, and social media have changed much of that. Today, code developers openly share their work in the name of ‘information advancement’; web hosting services are practically free – or almost; and social media helps to create wild fires of information.
A few weeks ago I read an extremely poignant blog post from a guy named Chris who writes a travel blog and spoke of his battle with depression. I mention it because what struck me so much was the transparent honesty from which he wrote; it was touching. His candor garnered a ton of support. I have been thinking about that blog post a lot recently and it reminded me that one of the uencounter.me Team’s core values is transparency; we state it on our ‘About Us’ page:
“We are three entrepreneurs with unique talent and vision who came together for the common goal of visually representing our individual and collective memories. We value integrity, honesty, and transparency. We thrive on the idea of operating a venue that fosters gratitude and opens the door for interpersonal connection not based on daily activities, but on those moments in life that are and have been meaningful”
It also reminded me that it may be ok to be more transparent and honest here on the blog about some of the challenges and frustrations that I personally, experience as a startup entrepreneur. In a sense, allowing the whole world to see me sweat!
Without hesitation, the most difficult aspect of this journey is practicing patience. Patience for my ideas to be developed into code and implemented on the site; patience for earning money to market; patience for acquiring users; patience for friends & family to ‘get it’; and patience for managing the rest of the elements that constitute my life. I have such a clear vision for uencounter.me and get very excited about its possibilities. We have had a ton of feedback that validates and supports the direction we are moving. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve received comments that say “wow, what a great idea!” But… people have busy lives and it takes a little effort to stop and think of where you’ve been, who made it special, etc.
Every day I watch the statistics of site visits and new users and it graphs like the Tetons. One day we’ll get a slew of new users and the next day a dribble. One day there are a hundred pins dropped, the next day, ten. I know it is about ‘numbers’ – the more you have the bigger it gets. My best friend calls this period ‘the potato pot’ – a metaphor, which took some describing. Basically, when you put a pot of potatoes on the stove it doesn’t seem like it will ever boil as you watch it – a bubble here, a bubble there, as it heats up. Just when you’ve begun to get frustrated with waiting and turn your back – the pot of potatoes goes boiling over.
So, that metaphor works for the most part but I am the kind of person that stands over the stove waiting and watching; because watching it begin to simmer and then erupt into a full boil is satisfying! In fact, I may spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it boil faster. Essentially, that is where I am with uencounter.me… watching it simmer and waiting for it to burst into a full rolling boil. When it does, it will be so exciting to report more ‘missed connection’ reunions, more deliveries of gratitude messages, more serendipitous discoveries!! It will be fun to meet people based on our shared interest and/or love of places.
In the meantime, if you are reading this blog and have enjoyed uencounter.me – please tell someone. Invite your FB friends, use the ‘share this’ button every time you drop a pin and email it to your friends. I will keep everyone posted as the boil begins to burst.