Why Did I Start a Company8:14 with Ryan Carson
In this video, Ryan explains why he started a company as well as some of the Pros and Cons associated with starting your own business.
[?mellow guitar music?] 0:00 [Think Vitamin Membership - Est. 2010] [membership.thinkvitamin.com] 0:02 [How to Build a Startup: Why Did I Start a Company? with Ryan Carson] 0:07 All right, the first thing I want to talk about is why should you start a company? 0:11 What are the pros? What are the cons? 0:15 In 2004, I think I just realized I was a bad employee. 0:17 I sort of thought my boss didn't know what he was talking about. 0:20 I thought I knew everything and I looked at the amount of money they were making 0:23 and I realized I could do that. 0:27 Why am I getting this salary when really, I could get that? 0:29 And it's funny because looking back, I was very naive. 0:32 I didn't know how hard it was to run a company; it wasn't as simple as sitting back 0:35 and writing yourself a big check. 0:42 So I decided I'm just going to launch my own company. 0:44 I'm going to build my own web software and we're going to call ourselves Carson Systems. 0:47 So we did that and I thought Carson Systems sounds awesome. 0:51 It's very exciting, very official, and I now regret that choice, but that's another story. 0:54 So that's why I started it, and I think a lot of people start companies for that reason. 1:00 They just can't stop themselves from doing it. 1:04 It's not necessarily a logical choice. 1:07 I'm going to walk you through the pros and the cons of that, 1:10 but it will be something that you just need to do. 1:12 So if that's you--if you feel like you want to start a company, 1:15 then I'm going to talk to you about, well, what are the pros you need to think about, 1:19 what are the cons. 1:22 So let's start off with the pros. 1:23 [Pros of Starting Your Own Company] 1:25 There's a tremendous amount of freedom to running your own company. 1:27 You have freedom in your schedule and you have freedom in your creativity, 1:31 and you are able to sort of craft the life that you want. 1:36 For instance, if you want to work 4 days a week, you can do that. 1:40 That's something that we do at Carsonified. 1:44 If you want to take a day off and spend it with your wife or your girlfriend 1:47 or your husband or your friends, you do that. 1:51 If you want to launch a new product and be creative, you do that. 1:54 There's kind of the ability just to create reality around you, which is amazing, 1:57 and I think it's probably the number one reason why I enjoy running the company that I do. 2:03 A third thing that's very useful is financial control. 2:08 It allows you to control how much you make. 2:11 You don't necessarily have to jump through the traditional hoops of reviews and raises. 2:14 If you decide that the company is profitable enough, 2:20 you can pay yourself more. 2:22 In the cons, I'll talk about the flip side of that 2:23 where you have to force yourself to give yourself a cut in pay, which is never very fun. 2:26 So there's a lot of financial control 2:30 and that's valuable and interesting. 2:33 Another thing that's just so vital is that you can do exactly what you're passionate about. 2:35 If you want to talk about nutrition and health, 2:39 you can do that--you can build a business on that. 2:44 If you love photography, you can build a business. 2:46 If you love medicine, you can build a business out of that. 2:48 There's the ability to take what you're passionate about and build a company off that. 2:51 And then, something that I think is super important is that you can make the world 2:55 a little bit better. 2:58 There's kind of a direct correlation with what you're doing and seeing a direct benefit 3:00 in the world, and that's powerful and exciting. 3:03 We're doing that here, I think, at Think Vitamin Membership, 3:07 and it's something that just feels good, you know? 3:10 What we're doing is we're helping you guys learn 3:12 how to build and design amazing things, 3:15 and those things are going to to out and change the world. 3:17 And that gets me up in the morning--I get excited about that, 3:20 and that's something that drives me, and you will feel that 3:23 if you're running your own company because you can do something you're passionate about. 3:25 Another great thing is that you can create a culture 3:29 where the people that are on your team--their lives are remarkably better 3:32 for being a part of your team. 3:37 You can treat them with respect and with creativity 3:39 and encourage them and take care of them 3:43 and enable them to live the life they want to live 3:46 without having to take the scary financial risks that you have to take 3:48 with starting a company, so there's a powerful way 3:51 to make people's lives better by running a company with a wonderful culture. 3:54 And we're going to talk more about that later on; how I've learned a lot from Zappos 3:58 and how they do things. 4:02 Some of the interesting things that we do here at Carsonified 4:04 to hopefully make these guys that are in this room with me, 4:07 filming this more fun and more exciting, and they're shaking their heads. 4:10 They're saying no, it's not all that great. [laughs] 4:13 So we're going to talk a little about that. 4:15 Another thing that's really exciting is no one tells you what to do--you literally do anything 4:17 you want to do, and it's funny because that's also in the cons. 4:20 It's also terrifying that no one tells you what to do, but we'll talk a little bit about that. 4:23 [?music?] 4:27 [Cons of Starting Your Own Company] 4:28 So what are the cons? 4:30 Those are all amazing things, and if that was all there was to it, 4:32 then obviously, people would just start companies all the time. 4:35 But why do people not start companies? 4:38 And the number one reason is that it's just a lot of work. 4:40 It's way more work than usually being a part of a team 4:44 as an employee, because the work doesn't really stop when work stops. 4:48 You have to always move things forward. 4:52 There's no one that's going to make new business happen. 4:54 There's no one to move things unless you do it, 4:57 and that can be quite stressful, especially if you're in a relationship or if you're married. 5:00 There's a potential for conflict there with your significant other; 5:06 they'll be frustrated you're working so much and you'll have to talk about that 5:09 and figure out the right balance, so that's hard. 5:13 It's more stressful initially. 5:16 You have all of the weight of whether you succeed or fail on your shoulders. 5:18 There's no one else to look to if you fail. 5:21 That's stressful, but that usually goes away. 5:25 The longer you run a company, it stabilizes and it becomes much less stressful 5:28 and much more fun. 5:32 So another con is that you end up having to manage people 5:33 and sometimes that's fun and sometimes it's not, but a lot of people 5:38 start their own company because they are good practitioners, 5:41 so you're a good designer, you're a good developer, 5:45 you want to build a product or you want to design the product 5:48 or you want to design or build client sites. 5:51 Now, the trouble is as your company becomes more successful, 5:53 you actually stop doing those things and you end up managing people 5:56 and sending emails. 6:00 That's essentially my job--I send emails for a living and I like it, 6:02 and that's fine with me, but a lot of people--they don't want to lose touch 6:05 with what they actually do, so you have to be prepared for that to happen. 6:08 The last con is that no one will tell you what to do, 6:12 and it's kind of funny because that's also a pro. 6:15 I love the fact that no one tells me what to do, and other times, I hate the fact 6:17 that no one tells me what to do. 6:20 My wife and I--Jill--we'll often have conversations that the secret behind business 6:22 is that actually nobody knows what they're doing. 6:27 It's all a ruse and it's all a sham, basically, 6:30 that you see these businessmen who look very official and look like they know 6:34 what they are supposed to be doing, but they don't actually know. 6:37 It actually empowers you when you finally realize that you'll have to make decisions 6:41 that you don't know what the right answer is, and that's pretty normal. 6:44 You know, Steve Jobs--he didn't know when he should launch the iPhone. 6:47 It wasn't obvious to him. He just did it. 6:51 With us, launching Think Vitamin Membership or Treehouse-- 6:53 we didn't know it was the right time, 6:56 and we were lucky that we did it at the right time and it's worked out. 6:58 We were lucky that we launched our events business at the right time and it worked out, 7:02 but those are all things that you don't know until afterwards. 7:04 So be prepared for the fact that it's hard to not know what the right answer is 7:07 and to have your employees looking at you and asking you to tell them what to do 7:12 and you don't actually know and you have to kind of bullshit a bit. 7:15 and sort of say, "I don't really know what the right call is here," but you can't say that-- 7:19 so you say, "This is what we're going to do," and be all sure about it 7:24 and you don't actually know what you're doing. 7:27 So that's my whole secret. (laughs) 7:30 So those are the pros and cons, but the funny thing is 7:32 those things will not--if you're a person who wants to start a company, 7:34 those things don't matter-- 7:37 you will do it anyway. 7:40 But if you're not sure about whether you should start a company, 7:42 hopefully those pros and cons will help you kind of navigate that. 7:45 And it depends on your personality. 7:48 You don't want to start a company and then feel really stressed about it. 7:50 That's not good, so sometimes you're better as part of a team, 7:53 which is great, so those are the pros and cons. 7:57 So now that we've talked through that, 8:00 if you just evaluate those, work through them a little bit, 8:02 and next we will talk about the three typical businesses 8:05 that you as web professionals will start. 8:09 [?mellow guitar music?] 8:11 [Think Vitamin Membership - Est. 2010] [membership.thinkvitamin.com] 8:12
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