One of my few guilty addictions is Hulu and the ability to watch TV shows on my own time and schedule. It let’s me use shows like Shark Tank and Kitchen Nightmares as time breaks (aka bribes) to get my less exciting projects done (aka dishes.)
I understand the sharks are all about the big picture and are looking for companies who have the potential to make millions. They make a living (and an entertaining show) tearing new ideas to pieces to see what’s inside.
But watching Shark Tank has taught me alot about how I don’t want to run a business.
I never ever want to stand in front of anyone and plead with them to give me money.
There are people who come on the show who have an idea they really believe in, but can’t get the idea to market. There are people with little business that want to be big. There are people who have tried everything they can think of and are still on the brink of failure.
And 99.9% of them act like the sharks are their only hope.
Maybe they are. We, the viewers, have to assume that they’ve already talked to banks and other lenders, already reached out to SCORE and local Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), looked into to government grants and programs, tapped on the knowledge bank of friends, family, and the internet.
I know it’s just a show and the whole point is to play big or go home, but for those folks who are turned down it they seem universally motivated to succeed just to ‘prove them wrong.’
If you want to succeed just to make other people feel bad/stupid/regretful, then somewhere something went very very wrong.
I’m happy that I’m dreaming small dreams.
I might not make a million dollars (at least not all in the same year) but I won’t ever have to stand in front of people who are looking at how much money I can make them and not seeing me.
Money is a concept, value is an insubstantial thing, at the very heart of it we all define our own currency. How much is my time worth? How much is my effort worth? At the end of my days how will I sum up my life?
Not like a shark.
I will make a living doing things that bring me joy and I will pass that joy along to other people. I may be rich, I may be poor– but I won’t regret a penny.