What about the slow days?
Success porn will only take you so far
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Enough shameless self-promo, though.
Today’s brain teaser goes like this:
A subway station in NYC keeps having its lightbulbs stolen. There is security at night, resources are tight and the people stealing them seem to be simply unscrewing them during rush hour. Locking them shut is not an option as they need to be changed.
How would you fix the problem?
An answer, as usual, at the end.
A while back I remember coming across this beautiful quote:
There are plenty of people on the internet willing to share their knowledge with you, even though they have none.
Entrepreneurship is often glorified through success porn. No matter how much content comes across my feed, I rarely see people talking how rough the bad days are:
The days when you realize a person you hired won’t work out
The days you have to decide between paying yourself or your employees (if you’ve ever picked yourself, we can’t be friends)
The days when you’re overwhelmed by rejection (getting rejected daily is basically a founder’s full-time job)
The days you know exactly what to do to make it work, but are lacking the resources (manpower, financial, willpower, doesn’t matter)
The days something you thought would work doesn’t
Out of 365 days, 300 of them will be some variation of bad days. That might sound horrifying and in a sense, it is. But it makes the good ones incredibly sweeter.
Why am I mentioning this?
Because the slow days are the ones that will matter the most.
How you manage them will make or break you as a founder. As a person, if I’m being honest. Anyone can bask in the glory of quick success, but not everyone can take a mental beating for years in order to get there.
Like one of my favorite saying goes - overnight success usually takes 10 years.
If you see someone never talking about the bad days, it’s because they either have no idea how to manage them, so they pretend they don’t exist, or they were privileged enough to only have a handful of those days, meaning there’s a high chance they’ll crack at the first sign of real trouble.
Remember that what you’re seeing on social media is usually the outcome of powering through hundreds of bad days, not a status quo.
There are obviously a lot of answers to this exercise. One of my favorites goes like this: “reverse the direction in which the lightbulbs are screwed in. When someone will try to unscrew it, they’ll actually screw it in tighter and think it’s stuck in place.”
Another option could be: “cover the lightbulb in transparent superglue. you’ll still lose a first set of lightbulbs, but it will act as a deterrent for future culprits”
Any other ideas? How’d you save the poor lightbulbs?