It almost doesn’t matter what I create. It can be very small. I feel alive. It’s like riding a bicycle, if you stop, you fall.
I stopped, for many years. Last time I started something new was 9 years ago. It was called Seesmic. I recorded a video every single day as I started it in a series called Seesmic du Jour made by Whit Scott. Here is the first video. I can’t even watch it (I’m embarrassed) but it’s fun to know it’s there. Whit was following me everywhere and we recorded 190 videos. I just started posting a video a day again, today, on Facebook live.
I’m pleased to see my friend Gary Vaynerchuk do the same today with much more energy and audience, see what Gary posted today. Gary is one of those guys that inspires me. He is restless as he creates his business and shares it with the world. He has infinite energy. Has anyone seen Gary down or complaining about anything? See how Ryan Hoover and Erik Torenberg are also restless creating constantly new things with their team at Product Hunt. They’re amazing.
I stopped creating for a few years as I was going through a major transformation in my life. I paused. I kept investing in startups but I stayed mostly passive. I worked on myself with three years of weekly therapy and learned to know who I am. I meditated nearly every day and went on a 10 day silent Vipassana retreat (one of the best things I have done in my life, highly recommend). I had a great time learning to paraglide, cruising and racing on my hydrofoil, heliskiing and learning to fly a very fast plane single pilot.
I always wanted to start something new. I shared tens of ideas with my friends. Many were good ones and they always encouraged me to “just start.” Some of them sounded like really good businesses but I did not start them as I did not feel any passion for them. I needed to become obsessed again by what I am building. You need passion for this. I have that with Leade.rs. I am obsessed. It wakes me up at night. I dream about it. My brain grows a constant flow of ideas and to-do items to get where I want to go.
I feel alive as I create again. I have a huge to-do list. I need everyone’s help. I call my friends for advice. I fear failure. I take risks. I connect with everyone. I approach everything as much as I can with a beginners mind. I doubt everything but try new ideas constantly to see what works. I give my very best and cancel pretty much anything that doesn’t help build Leade.rs. It is that important. I don’t want to fail. I want to do something extraordinary. Something new that I have never tried before. I want to build something that helps people and somehow improves the world long term even if it’s in a very small way. I also focus on small first achievements because I know you cannot deliver a big vision initially. It’s about winning small battles. My first one is a small event in Paris May 13, you should come if you can, it will be exciting.
I feed off of the energy of my friends who are excited that I am building something again. It almost doesn’t matter what it is. Everyone around me is excited because I am excited. They weren’t so excited when I wasn’t building something. They want to help. They want to be part of it. They cancel things to help and to be there for me.
I made myself accountable to 10,000 people.
I have been telling the story of my new creation since the very first day. I am building it in my newsletter (register here if you like). After about 3 months, I have 10,000 subscribers who are expecting me to report on my progress. Everyone helps me in an incredible way (thanks guys!). This daily interaction with my subscribers is one of my best moves in a long time, I wish I would have started before.
I hesitated to raise money and just finance it myself. I very quickly decided to take my friends angel money as they wanted to help and be part of it. I raised a seed round with many incredible friends. I do not want to lose their money so now I have that pressure too. It’s a good pressure. And their help is invaluable. The check they wrote is a statement that they want to support me and connect with me. Owning a piece of Leade.rs is an excuse to talk more often because now we have a reason. We have a new project. A new occasion to exchange and learn together.
I burned the ships. There is no way back — I need to succeed with Leade.rs.
I am so excited. I am alive, again. Thank you all for your support.
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