I’m heading back to Greenville, SC on Wednesday to hang at The Iron Yard for a few days. The plan is for me to “mentor” the current batch of startups in the accelerator. I have a lot of unique experiences to share with the startups so hopefully I can share some insight and first-hand knowledge with everyone. Make no mistake, I am no startup expert or one of these sought after gurus. I just want to help in some capacity and lighten the load of stress one can feel in an accelerator.
I openly admit, I love Greenville (as evidenced by my Facebook cover photo). A smile comes to my face when I think back on the four months I lived there. It is a strange thing, though. Most people don’t move out of their home, leave their wife and kids behind and live in another state for nearly four months. These things, of course, were the worst part of pursuing this passion. So while I smile when I think about the best experiences I had in Greenville, I can’t help but to feel some guilt for leaving my family.
There is also some guilt about not having broken through with our startup yet as well. I won’t go into all the ups and downs since returning from the Iron Yard, you probably read those posts already. But I will say you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Once you commit to a decision like leaving the family and starting a business it changes everything.
People say “well at least you gave it a shot and won’t live the rest of your life regretting it if you hadn’t given it a try.” I wouldn’t trade my experience in Greenville (and my love for it) for anything. HOWEVER, the ramifications of a taking a dip into the startup pool are irreversible and feeling guilty for burning your savings, leaving your wife and kids behind; and putting your spouse into an impossible position (support the dream or put a fork in it), may be worse than regretting not doing it in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong. There are so many amazing things that have come out of all this. Too many positives to list; I am just pointing out that the regretters of the world don’t know what they aren’t missing. And, we haven’t failed with our startup, we just haven’t made it to 1 yet. I suspect this will change in early May and if you know me at all, you know I will tell you if we made it to 1 or not and I will be brutally honest in my report.
So, off to Greenville. Might drive past the old apartment at North Slope, may even go in to Publix - won’t buy anything - just want to walk through the isles reminiscing. Well, maybe not, that actually sounds kind of dumb. Why would I do that when I can visit Barley’s, Chicora Alley and maybe 2-3 other favorite places; walk Falls Park and might even bike the Swamp Rabbit Trail. But the one thing I want to do most is kick back in that white leather office chair in my old seat at [the new] Iron Yard throwing back some cold ones with my great friends and fellow Iron-Yarders.