What Fear says about Patience

So, this week’s 30 Days of Hustle was about patience. Goals take a while to come to fruition some times. Fear will try and keep you down, saying that what you have is too little, too late. This is especially true with what I am doing, software development. Right now, there is a boom of software developers, specifically app developers, all trying to make “the next big hit.”

The app (and possibly business) I’m building is a product of my desires and interest since I was a young kid, possibly eight or nine years old. Every day, I can see products coming out from companies or start-ups that are similar in a way to my product. Every day, I get the thought that “it’s too late” or “you don’t have the money necessary in order to get this built fast enough.” When you’ve got a set of established big players: Google, Apple, Amazon, Adobe, etc and a legion of burgeoning start-ups, many located within arm’s length of money, it’s easy to think that a small town boy from SC would never have a chance. In the fast paced world of intelligent people, and people with money (especially when they are one in the same) it can be easy to feel insignificant. I’ve realized a few things this week, though.

Fear doesn’t have the last word. I don’t remember where I heard it, but I heard something a while back that has stuck with me till this day: “Courage is not the lack of fear, courage is having fear and doing something anyways.” That’s something I’ve realized with this interview that I’ve had recently (coming soon, a post all by itself). It’s something that I’ve realized by building this app. And it’s something God has been teaching me through his word and a book called Sun Stand Still. In order to have courage, you will have to acknowledge your fear and go in anyways. Jump in. Figure out why you are doing what you are doing and dive into it. For me, the answer is based in my ability and my faith. I’m developing because God has given me the ability and intelligence to do so and gifted me with a unique idea that I think has viability. I’ve been an inventor of sorts since my childhood. Software is just my way of doing so. It’s logical to me, and I enjoy making great software.

I’ve come to two major realizations about my app that’s helping me not to be impatient. One: even if I don’t sell a single copy of this app, I want to make it because I am an inventor at heart, and this is something that is within me just wanting to come out. I want to make this app for myself, but also for others. I think it solves an inconvenience and introduces enjoyment of the art of creation to people.

Two: even though making money off of it is not my primary goal, if I build a great product, but don’t market it correctly and make it appealing for people to take a risk on it, it won’t have the impact I’ve desired. If you make a great product, but no one uses it because they don’t know about it, then you might as well not have made it. You have to invest in product design as well as development. As Jon says, this microwave culture of ours wants everything now. And I will not deny that I want my project to be developed now. As a software developer, I want to dive straight in and make it work. However, that might not be the best way to immediately attack this situation. I need to think about product design, product/market fit and a whole host of other questions that come when you are developing something that may sell to others.

So, what does fear say about patience? Fear says patience is for the weak. For those who aren’t ambitious enough. However, patience is for the strong, those who know it can take back breaking work just to take one step forward if you’re pushing a stone. Patience involves understanding that great things take time. And that is what you can tell fear, “great things always take time, this is no different.”

Who is my dream serving?

Who is my dream serving? That is the question I was asked last week through 30 Days of Hustle. Well? The truth is I don’t know. On some levels, all dreams are at least a little bit selfish. And that’s ok. Because if there wasn’t at least a little bit of selfishness, then there would be nothing internally pushing us forward to achieve them.

The key thing is, the answer to that question can’t only by “Me.” If our dream only serves ourselves, then it is only an ego trip, a way of building ourselves up in our head; dreams that aren’t connected to anyone or anything else “tend to die painful, lonely deaths” as Jon notes in the 30 Days post.

When I dream and I look at my dreams, I know who I want my dreams to serve. I want my dreams to serve God, to bring people to him so they know they are not alone and that there is a God that loves them and sent his son who died to save them. I want my dreams to serve my family, to be a means to provide financial support for them. I want my dreams to serve others. I want to be able to make software that impacts the world and gives people the tools to do what they never thought they could. I fully believe that technology can be a major game changer in every aspect of life, we just need to implement it in a way that gives people power and ability, not takes it away.

I said all of that to say this. Who is my dream serving? If I don’t pay attention, it will only serve me. However, I know who I want them to serve: God, others, and my family. It is very easy to get egotistical, and I will have to fight that fight daily. Your dreams are different than mine, and that’s ok. There is something we share though: our dreams are not only for us. Let’s remember that.

One new thing

Last week, Jon said to write down one new thing that you need to learn. My one new thing is actually developing software the right way. See, I have a desire to create. Not just to create, but to create well designed software. There are ways of ensuring that software is more correct: unit tests, acceptance tests, all of those things I know about but truly need to learn. These are my new things. In the process of doing these things, I’m learning new ways of managing myself. I’m moving towards an agile process for my software development. Not exactly scrum, not exactly anything else.

There are a multitude of other things that I want to learn, such as how to mix my love of developing and make a successful product or business out of it. If that will happen, I don’t know. I know God has put a passion in my heart to create software; at the moment, it seems like it’s iOS software, but if that changes, then so be it. I’ve got to strive to make the most of my talents and learn the most that I can.