Updated: May 23
I thought I'd put out a quick blog before we launch... I don't know what to expect in the coming weeks (#FIRSTTIMEFOUNDERS) so wanted to put something out in case I'm off radar for a while. It's been a while since my last update too - there's a lot to line up before pushing the big 'GoGo' button!
The past few months leading up to the launch have been a real rollercoaster. Whatever happens - whether we're funded or not - It's been a blast getting feedback from the community, designing, prototyping, promoting, planning production....
Yes that has been a lot of work in a very short space of time and it has been really (really!) stressful at times. I had many nights waking up at 4am anxious about the design, manufacture, shipping, tax...
But I'm familiar with stress. My previous roles were in trading and trading is also a real rollercoaster. Incredible highs, tight knit camaraderie and tough lows - down days, tet-a-tets on the trading floor. Then there's the fear of being a bad trade (or in my later career a bad algorithm release) away from being out the door.
Funnily, those things didn't bother me. I had a bigger demon - myself.
I am tough on myself - really tough. 'Failure is not an option' type tough.
Losing my job wasn't an issue... depending on how I lost it. A bad luck freak event - meh. Someone deciding it was my time for the chop - happens. But cocking up and when I shouldn't - not cool.
If anyone has had councelling you probably saw the dirtiest word ever - "Should".
I've read there are type A personalities and type B personalities. Type A are 'maximisers' - type B are 'Satisfice-ers' ( satisfactory is ok). I am type A with an unhealthy dose of 'Should' thrown in.
It's for that reason I had to take anti depressants for many years. Not because banking is hard - because I am hard on myself. I should have seen that coming. I shouldn't have let that happen. I should have done more...
Then I left finance and started a business.
In the long run I think this is the smartest move ever, but not because I expect to get rich or change the world... Now I only set my own deadlines and make my own rules.
Except - I don't like moving deadlines. Because that's how shit gets done... So as the going got tough the past months - I worked my fricking ass off. Designing toilets with Kalp on India time and discussing with manufacturers on Californian time - all from Spain.
This has taken its toll on my relationship with Ange (sorry Ange) and despite not 'having a proper job' I still wasn't riding my mountain bike as much as I thought I would.
How did that happen? I'm not sure. I think I was prioritising Cuddy over other stuff and in order to achieve something takes sacrifice in other areas. Could I have ridden my bike more? Was I not productive enough? No - there's just a LOT of work involved in developing a product and launching a business and we've done it in 5 months. That's crazy.
If you havent heard of David Goggins check him out - he's the most bad ass motherfucker ever. (badass motherfucker is literally the only phrase to describe him) Check this out:
In a nutshell - awesomenes takes sacrifice - and developing Cuddy in 5 months is fucking awesome. Delivering him on time is also awesome so I better get expect some more sacrifice...
It's mental health awareness week and on that note I wanted to share a secret weapon that got me through the past months of fighting my demons and really needs to be taught more widely - Meditation.
Meditation is just awesome. It massively reduces stress and gives you perspective on shit. I don't remember to do it every day - but I try. Check out deeply and headspace as my favourites. (no affiliate link). If you've not tried it before - try it today. If you practice yoga and know that relaxed feeling you get afterwards - that's what I'm talking about.
I'm now almost off the anti-depressants and part of that is thanks to the perspective meditation can provide. I won't say it's entirely down to meditation - meds helped stop the vicious cycle of depression for me. Then there's the support from Ange (thanks Ange). But I definitely know it helped me and wanted to share it with everyone - whether you're in tip-top mental condition (I mean who really is, right?) or not.
Funny point - meditation is fucking hard when you're stressed about your upcoming first product launch on IndieGoGo... I couldn't stop chasing thoughts of what I could do and not focusing on the bigger picture of what needs to be done
So on that note I'm off to meditate for 20 minutes to give me perspective and headspace. Then I'll review everything we've done so far and getting ready to push the big GO button...