Early in my journey building CCAW, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to develop relationships with a handful of amazing technical founders in Atlanta. Over the years, some of them went on to create businesses valued at tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars. I was sometimes privy to the behind-the-scenes story. I heard the thought processes that led to some incredible accomplishments. I knew about early traction and success before they were made public. I saw firsthand how successful technology companies were built—Atlanta-style, at least. I was super excited for these founders. To this day, I still root for them.
As a nontechnical founder listening to these stories, I was motivated to keep pushing. I had a vision and I was trying to turn it into a reality. Often my efforts failed. Naturally, it was frustrating. I wanted to reach the level of success my peers were experiencing.
I shouldn’t have been frustrated. I was trying to build a company that relied on technology. Except . . . I wasn’t technical. Where technological knowledge resided in the brains of those other founders, I had a massive gap. No wonder some of my ideas didn’t work out. I learned from each failure, though, and my decision making improved. It took time, but I eventually made a good decision that led to success. Looking back, I see that my situation was different from my peers’, so it makes sense that my journey was different too.
You can’t do things the way other people do. People have divergent backgrounds, educations, work experiences, resources, and personal circumstances. If you want to build a company or accomplish anything else big, comparing yourself to others is futile. Work hard. Educate yourself. Learn (from others, and on your own). Try, and try again. Whatever time it takes, it takes. Find your own way to success.