“Success, Sanity, and Happiness as an Entrepreneur” via FounderDating
This FounderTalk guest post was written by Scott Lewallen. He co-founded Grindr in 2009 and is currently founder and CEO of Mezic Media. You can also find him advising entrepreneurs on the FD:Advisor network.
Five years ago, I launched Grindr, and found myself thrust into the spotlight as a leader and co-founder of a disruptive technology and social phenomenon. As I sailed into the wild frontier of mobile apps and location-based dating, I asked myself daily – Will I be successful?
The short answer is – YES!
If you put in the hours and passion to pursue what you want to accomplish, something will happen. Working hard pays off. Sometimes, you hit obstacles and they suck. But those obstacles are powerful moments of reflection that can change you, your company, and your life.
I want to share these so-called obstacles, and how the questions they presented to me helped me grow both as a leader, and as a person…
AM I ENOUGH?
Grindr was the first mainstream gay geo-social app to launch in the iTunes App Store. We, the founding team who built a product in a garage, gained press coverage overnight. They called us “The Hot New Gay App.” Everyone wanted to join the party. The world wanted to get on Grindr.
So here I was, at a hot new company, with my hard work paying off, and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and I still felt inadequate at times. I questioned myself. Do I know what I’m doing? I doubted everything. Was this color scheme okay? Does the user interface have enough personality? Can the average gay guy figure this out? Self doubt haunted me. We had reached a certain app ‘celebrity’ status and I continued to wonder if I was good enough to be here.
“We’re all flawed. We’re human. We make mistakes. If you didn’t screw up you’d be boring. You would lose your creativity. I try to make it a habit and make at least ten mistakes a day. Mistakes are a gift from the universe.”
It made sense to me; realizing and accepting the fact that I was human, that I was flawed, and that I would make mistakes made me feel empowered, but free. It was like inhaling a breath of fresh air at the top of a mountain. It was not only okay to feel this way, it was a part of creative growth. If I was going to lead and succeed, I had to accept that I was a human being…