Show notes from Episode #131 of the Sweaty Startup Podcast.
With the redesign of the website and the branding, Nick has been thinking a lot lately about his mission for Sweaty Startup. Some of the feedback he received on mockups were that people wanted to see mops, hammers, and sweat in the logos. As Nick thought about his goals and mission, it became clear that the hard work and sweat wasn’t the message he wanted to send.
In Nick’s mind, getting on the truck to paint, do lawn care, or remove junk are the means to the end. These activities are your focus for the first year or two after launching, but soon you should have the opportunity to step back. To him, the end goal is to work less and have the financial freedom to do what you want to do every single day. The dream isn’t to live and die on a lawn mower, the dream is to not ever stress about money, to live a better life, and to make things better for the people around him.
Reflecting on where he wants this passion project to go, a lot of it has to do with the fact that Nick doesn’t care much about wealth, excess, or extravagance. While he’s been able to obtain modest wealth, most of his friends still have no idea what he does. Entrepreneurship can be alienating because you may find yourself sharing less and less of your work life with the people around you when you realize that they simply aren’t interested. Part of Nick’s goal is to make this a more social journey, to meet people going through similar experiences and talk about things that excite him. He’s been able to make friends with people who have been on the podcast like Casey Walsh and Max Maher, have energizing conversations with callers, and spend hours that feel like minutes talking about different businesses.
A year into the project, the Sweaty Startup website gets 200 visitors a day, podcast episodes usually reach 2,000 downloads, and the subreddit has 20,000 subscribers. This isn’t a huge brand and Nick doesn’t have the desire to make it one; by preaching hard labor without shortcuts in non-scalable businesses, he’ll likely never get the visibility of the entrepreneurs that are glorified in the media, and he’s okay with that.
The wealth that Nick seeks is simply being able to do really fun stuff with his time. Nick loves his time exercising, hanging out with family and friends, and helping teammates and his company make hard decisions. The uncertainty is fun, the chances they take are fun. He’s living a rewarding life and feeling blessed to get to do it every day.
So don’t get hung up in the window washing, the auto maintenance, or the repair work. Don’t make that your brand. Look at this as the means to achieve what you want to do and having the money to do it. This is the way you can live the life you want and leave the job you hate.
Start small, plan 5 years ahead, and you’ll be surprised how far you can make it. Most importantly, have a blast, and keep your goals in mind.