Today was a bad day

There it is, I said it, and yes it was most definitely a bad day.

I’d be comfortable having a little moan about this to close friends, but it’s not really something to blurt out on your own very public blog, is it? I really don’t want to go into the details, but the thing is we all have rubbish days, I know I do, and I’m pretty sure you do too.

Just before I joined I attended one of the excellent Hacker News events where eager aspiring starter-uppers go to talk about how they aim to change the world or become the next tech-bubblionaire. And like any good networking event we all mingled politely and turned our reality distortion fields up to maximum whilst wolfing down the obligatory free pizza. I’m sure you know the standard tech-networking format…

“So how’s the project?”
“Fantastic! We’ve got a few thousand beta testers already and just moved into new offices, how about you??”
“Yes great we’ve been pitching investors and we’ll have some offers soon!”

But on this particular night Harj Taggar who had flown over from Y-Combinator mothership in San Francisco walloped the crowd with the stark truth that “most people at this event will have had a bad day”. He knew the importance of seeing beyond the obligatory self-promotional hype, and understood the negative consequences of benchmarking yourself against it. He also knew just how hard it was to start a new business. If people had switched off their inbuilt PR circuits you’d probably hear something more along the lines of…

“So how’s the new project?”
“Hmmm… Still no paying customers, we’re about to go broke and the roof is leaking, how about you?”
“Yes… we’ve pitched at every event now, had no interest and we’re going to get a right mouthful from our other halves when they find out”

For the first time in a long time I (and many others) left the event with the sense that it’s totally fine to have bad days. Things don’t always go to plan. Not everybody was “knocking it out of the park”. And it was ok to admit that. In the UK at least, we really don’t like to talk about hardships or heaven forbid failure!

Well, we do fail, we all fail and we all find things hard and sometimes this gets us down. On an existential level this shouldn’t bother us at all as we are merely carbon atoms that happen to take the form of human beings for an incredibly short duration of time (more about the meaning of life here). But in our everyday reality it can and does affect us.

In the words of Ronan Keating (wow, it really must be a bad day) “Life is a roller-coaster, Just gotta ride it”. I’ll take the Irish sage’s advice and hopefully tomorrow, like so many previous days as an independent worker, I’ll be feeling on top of the world again and wondering why I didn’t do this sooner. For now it’s rubbish and I’ll be glad when it’s over, and that’s ok.

PS after writing and publishing this I’m starting to feel much better already. Join in the cathartic outpourings and add your own bad day experiences to the comments below before we return to our usual schedule of upbeat positivity. You might feel better for it.

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