This weekend, I participated in Startup Weekend – an organization that gets people together to create companies in the space of 48 hours. I was nervous, had no idea what I would contribute (I am decidedly not a programmer), but I knew it would be good for me to try.
So I showed up Friday evening, listened to pitches, joined a team, and spent the next two days creating a company with five strangers.
I spent about 30 hours over the course of the weekend at the venue, showing up right after work on Friday. We worked just about the entire time (with a few beer breaks, because come on, free beer).
At the end of the weekend, I pitched our idea in front of 150+ people (scary!). And we won. Out of 13 teams, we came in first.
When I get home from work, I’m usually wiped out, and have little motivation to do anything but hang out with my friends and watch TV. This weekend, though, was different.
My brain was on the entire time, constantly brainstorming company names, developing a survey, discussing a business model, creating a presentation, rehearsing a pitch, and talking UI with our developers. I didn’t have any time to check Apartment Therapy or write blog posts.
And yet, I wasn’t tired when I came home Sunday night. I was jazzed. I wanted to keep working. I wanted to call my dad and tell him all about the experience and everything I’d learned. I wanted to keep going, because the work didn’t feel like work.
I’ve had that feeling before. Running the student newspaper, there were always a million things to do, never enough time to do it, and it all mattered. I hadn’t had that feeling in a long time.
The funny thing is, it even rolled over into my real life. I walked in to the office Monday morning ready to get things done. I was more productive in the first hour than I think I ever have been.
We plan to keep working on our company. I hope it grows into something. I believe that it could. And yet, even if it doesn’t, it was a reminder of the joy that I can find in working really, really, really hard.
That’s what this blog is about, for me. Finding joy. It’s not in a cute sweater or a fancy dinner – it’s in your friends and learning and achieving things and hard work.
What kind of work energizes you?