The first time I played soccer was at a friend’s scrimmage. They let me play with their team. I was so fucking bad. Missing easy shots, losing control every time I touched the ball, it was terrible. By the end of the game, my teammates stopped passing to me when I was wide-open in front of goal because they had a better chance of scoring trying to dribble three defenders.
And I remember my friend asking me after the game how I liked it.
I fucking loved it. Playing soccer was so much fun even when I was shit and I remember thinking, Damn, I need to get better at this, I fucking love this.
Seven years on, I went to a drop-in game at my local Futsal place last night and had a great time. It’s still something I love to do.
But I’d count myself shit for roughly the first three or four years I played. And although I’d beat myself up in games, I was out every day because there’s nothing I enjoyed more than kicking a ball around with some friends from ten am to nine pm during the summer, interspersed with some local river swimming activities.
The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.
– Max Levchin, former CTO of PayPal
Were you good the first season you played a sport? Maybe some freaks of nature.
What about the second season? You got better didn’t you? Knew the lay of the land somewhat.
And so it went – the third, fourth, or fifth season came. After a while, you were better than most of the people you played with.
It’s a shame the people who quit in their first season. They got discouraged, so they quit.
So it is with sports, and so it is with writing. Or entrepreneurship. Anything really.
You started your first blog and after a few months, maybe even a few weeks you thought, this is difficult. Fuck it.
What makes you think your first blog, your first season, is going to be anywhere near successful?
Or your second? Everyone wants to be gifted right away. But you’ll never be gifted at something if you don’t enjoy being shit at it first.
Don’t expect to be the magic success from the start. Not in business, not in sports, and definitely not in writing. If you’re writing for fame, if you’re writing for money, if you’re writing for a reason other than the enjoyment of expressing yourself in an increasingly more eloquent way, something is wrong.
And something definitely needs to change.