I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets and resolutions. This post is all about 2016 accomplishments.
If I’m being honest, I had a record-breaking year of doing things the hard way. That’s 2016 for you. Everything was a slog.
But here’s one thing I started doing right: I asked for advice and listened to people.
When I first hung my shingle at GlitchPath, someone told me that I’d need to develop my inner Samuel L. Jackson and cut anybody who gets in my way. The software business is unforgiving, people steal your ideas, and being an entrepreneur means that, at some point, everybody will hate me. I have to be married to my idea, not my spouse. I need to love my product, not my family. It’s a short-term ruthlessness, but it’s unacceptable to do this any other way. And, if someone tries to come at me, I need to bring them down.
I was like, whoa, that’s a lot.
Turns out, he was right. I’m glad I shut my mouth and listened to that guy. I haven’t had to cut anyone, but I’ve been close.
I was also told to have hundreds of conversations before writing a single line of code. That was excellent advice. And, secondarily, I was advised to build up my sales and marketing teams and work on pricing strategies and use cases before hiring a CTO with no vision who will ruin everything.
That advice also saved my ass, earlier this year.
Finally, I listened to someone close who challenged me to work at the top of my license. I heard the feedback, and it mattered. Being a human resources expert is not the pinnacle of my expertise. I can do better.
Asking for advice and truly listening is my biggest accomplishment in 2016. I’ll still be an obnoxious contrarian in 2017, of course, but my goal is to shut up and listen a lot more.