Project Asterisk: The Bump

I don't want this to be a downer post even though, at the moment, I do feel a little bit down. Just want to be as transparent as possible. There's at least one bump in the road for every project and I think I've just hit my first.

For a time I fancied myself a writer, so I'm used to a little rejection from time to time. But on the other hand, there was really no pressure in that circumstance. If I fail to publish a story, I'm just right back to where I started and I can still enjoy the story on my own with two or three of my friends who agree to read it for free. What's got me under some stress at the moment is being rejected for loans even though I have this whole plan pretty much in action and no one can see its end result until I can pay for it.

It's really my own fault for starting this whole venture so soon after I got married. I almost maxed out all my cards for that and even opened another financing line for my suit. On paper, I just don't really look that good for lending. Give it a year or so and I'll be right as rain, but at the moment no one wants to touch me.

In one of my earlier Project Asterisk blog posts, I mentioned that the strategy I would probably be going with would be to pull money from the founding members of the space to get the space open. So why am I trying to get a loan? Well, the guy I got that idea from not only supplemented that amount with his own savings (something I don't have) but also had members who could afford to put down six months rent right away. People who had thriving businesses, just nowhere to conduct them out of. One of the key principles I want to open The Green Asterisk Coworking Space on is that of money not getting in the way of community. I don't want the money to be a burden for entry into my space, much less to be a burden to the founding members of the space. I wanted to take all the risk on myself because I was confident in what I had put together and in the people that had come to join me. So I'm emailing and calling lenders to see who is going to give me enough money to cover finances for six months, confident that I'll be able to pay them back, but a little more confident than they are.

My dad was quite an entrepreneur himself. In the time since I gained some sort of consciousness about what was going on around me, I had known him to start a recording studio, dozens of websites and a theme park app, and he had jumped on board a lot of different startup ventures, most of which never really panned out. During a conversation with my mom, she reminded me of this, and she revealed that he had borrowed from a lot of dear friends and family for certain ventures that he ended up not being able to repay. And that brought on a lot of guilt.

I look up to my dad a lot. Through all these failed ventures, he and mom always somehow found some way to support the family. But I'm also learning from him. I don't want to be the guy that burns valuable bridges because I believed in something that didn't actually work. That runs completely counter to my idea of coworking. I want to be the guy that takes on all the risk himself and succeeds, not because of the risk, but because of the community I've built.

I don't know. Maybe I need to slow down, maybe I need to change strategies, maybe a fairy godmother angel investor will happen along my path, but these are the days that make the successful days worth it. When I've reached the top, it'll be because I've been at the bottom that I appreciate it all the more. I haven't given up. I might be close, but I'll never cross that line. Whatever happens, we'll always have the meetup.