Helping you become an entrepreneur with heart, mind, and soul

Go Make the Thing You Care About

Added on by Sam Davidson.

Looking for an idea for a company to start? Wondering how you can become an entrepreneur?

Then stop paying attention to market trends, reading the advertising sections of Entrepreneur magazine (franchise much?), or trying to jump on some industry bandwagon. Just go and make something you care about. (Yes - it's that easy and that hard.)

Muse Seth Godin (Is it too much to call him a muse?) writes:

I don't think we have a calling.

I do think it's possible to have a caring.

A calling implies that there's just one thing for you, just one thing you're supposed to do. 

What we most need in our lives, though, is something worth doing, worth it because we care.

When people ask why we started Batch, I tell them that it was a nice fit of the hearts of the co-founders. Your heart is a key ingredient when it comes to entrepreneurship. It's the thing that keeps you going. It's your passion, that fuel for the fire you'll need when stuff gets hard (and trust me, it will get hard). The only way to find that fuel is to make sure you're creating something you care about.

For me, that was a love for all things local. It wasn't just that I loved stuff nearby in my own Nashville, but when hitting the road, I also loved to check out the best local burger, the nearby coffee shop, or the hometown bar that everyone raved about. And now I get to ship the best of certain iconic cities to customers all over the US. 

We already have enough people trying to make money. What we need is people who believe in what they're doing and can't get enough of it. We don't need you to work; we need to you to care. 

(By the way, you can't measure heart on a balance sheet, so please, founders, make sure you're talking about this as regularly as you can at your staff meetings.)

Spiritual Surprises

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I think God (G-d, god, gods) tends to surprise. 

In a world where it’s easy to explain away wonder with science, I’m working hard to leave room for the spiritual these days. I’ve found that most often, the spiritual shows up (if you let it/him/her) when you’re around other people.

Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to leave conversations that are good for my soul. These are moments shared over drinks or a meal, around a conference table or in a hotel lobby, that make me better than when I entered them. It’s these conversations that challenge me and leave me wanting more. 

Of course, certain books or TED talks can challenge and entertain, but rarely do I leave with a spiritual experience. TED talks can be viewed alone and books are read silently to myself. I receive education from those opportunities, but I don’t leave with a soul moment. 

On Monday night, I shared a meal with my friend Lee, someone I’ve known for over a decade. He’s helping to start a church in Hunstville. He knows he’s crazy, but he also knows this is what he should be doing. We talked some about that, but we also covered another range of topics and dived deep into some dark and uncovered places - places where we (any of us) don’t usually let people in. When you get to those places with people, when you’re willing to let people in at the corners and expose a piece of yourself (and walk carefully when they return the blessed favor), you feel like you’ve stumbled onto something. 

It looks a lot like holy ground.

I had another holy ground moment on Tuesday night. My friend James was in town (he has a new book out, by the way). We talked some about his book, but we also went deeper than catching up on itineraries and lists. We overturned and rolled away stones. And it was special, to stand on each other’s holy ground with reverence and respect, with just the right balance of silence and questioning. 

We can deliberately seek out moments of spirituality, and usually the default method of doing so is to darken the doorway of a church or mosque, to attend a prayer meeting, read the Torah, listen to a sermon, or spend time in prayer. We can prod the spirit(s) on and maybe she’ll show up when we ask. 

But sometimes, we accidentally find ourselves in the midst of spiritual moments. These can be fun times, if we’re ready and open enough to recognize them as such. Be careful; if you’re too busy or too proud then you can miss the awe of the place where you stand. 

And in those moments, you don’t need to explain. You just need to exist.

At the Ole Day Joy Again

Added on by Sam Davidson.

It was an innocent mistake. A casual typo. I wrote:

"How do you feel about your new day joy?"

I meant day job. Oops. 


Unless some of us are lucky enough to find the synonym between the two, where our job is our joy. 

It doesn’t need to be all of our joy in life, mind you, but deriving some joy from labor can be euphoric, healthy, and important. 

But if you’re in a place where the two don’t overlap, then I’ll simply ask, 

"What then, is your day joy?"

In other words, where are you finding joy during the daylight hours, inside or outside of that 9-to-5 parameter? 

No matter what you’re up to, joy is a choice

On a Deadline

Added on by Sam Davidson.

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” (By reading online, this may have first been said by Napoleon Hill, but it’s been attributed to others, too.)

All of your dreams and ideas need deadlines. “Best by” dates so you can plan, test, evaluate, and decide what’s after that.

Without deadlines there can be no priorities. 

Dreams can expire, you know.

(h/t to my pal Rob for the kernel of this idea)

Collecting Mud

Added on by Sam Davidson.

I was so glad to be returning to trail running after several weeks, even though the recent rain made the running a little treacherous and incredibly muddy.

As I trudged along over branches and through the wet dirt, my shoes started collecting mud. It’s all part of the experience.

Until it slowed me down. Mud on mud on mud. I had to stop and kick some off before I could keep going.

Too often we’re all collecting mud in life. And it’s slowing us down. Why not take a moment this week to stop and get rid of some of it?

Kick off that negative self talk. Let another’s criticism of you go. Get rid of doubt that paralyzes, fear that stereotypes, or relationships that don’t bring out the best in you. Why travel with all this extra weight?

Shake it off. You’re going places.