Hey Ben, it’s Ben.
I know you’re busy finishing college and trying to develop your first ideas for a pickup truck app thing, but I want to share a little perspective with you. It’s almost been three years since the original idea of Bungii and here is the most important piece of advice I would tell you on day one:
It will be way harder than you ever imagined.
Someone much wiser than us once said, “There are two ways to beat the competition: you can outwork them or outsmart them.” Outsmarting the competition isn’t always an option, but outworking them is. Work ethic is a choice made every day. But here’s the thing– the daily grind isn’t glamorous, and it’s not fun. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they can share personal stories as proof.
Bungii will experience plenty of unglamorous work right off the bat. It will take a year and half from the time Bungii starts its test market to when the app launches. Without an app, you will have to manually connect customers to drivers with your always-on-the-verge-of-dying phone. That means for over a year, Harrison or you will have to be on call, prepped to set up a Bungii from 7am to 9pm, seven days a week. For the next 408 days you have to be ready, with a computer next to you, all day, everyday.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Well, you didn’t have to do that!” And you’re right, we could have taken the weekends off. We could have started at 9am and ended at 5pm. We could have relaxed and set up the trips when we felt like it. We could have found a million reasons not to work. But if we did, we wouldn’t be anywhere near where we are today. I’m fairly confident that Bungii would not have even made it past the first year.
I’m not saying this to brag, or make it seem like you and Harrison work SO hard. I’m saying this because entrepreneurship is so glamorized right now. A lot of people think that they’re going to stay up late in their dorm rooms with their buddies doing some coding and before they know it they’ll become the next Mark Zuckerburg. That’s not how it is. It requires a tremendous level of work.
There is no quick cure. There is no miracle algorithm. There’s no one move that’s going to bring success. Clear, patient, grinding work is the variable in success.
It’s easy to look at Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel today and think how lucky they are. But they’re not lucky, they’re dedicated. We weren’t there back in 2005 when they were spending 80 hours a week obsessing over lines of code and trying to keep their fragile startup afloat. The reason most people have Snapchat and Facebook on their phones is because of years of grinding, daily work. It’s only then do you become an “overnight” success.
Another quote you’ll learn to love is from serial entrepreneur Andrew Weinreich: “Businesses take time. You need a ten year commitment. Businesses are not built overnight; they’re built over a protracted period of time. The winners are the people who ride the highs and the lows. Those willing to pivot, iterate and stay the course. If you’re not willing to engage for ten years, it’s probably not the right opportunity for you.”
So Ben, keep your head down and work. Keep your head down and build. No glamor, no bling, WORK. And in ten years, you’ll have it.