I found myself taking cover in a bunker centered on a green pasture, with dense woods at it’s perimeter once while dreaming. It would have been a beautiful landscape if it weren’t for a barrage of bombs raining down all around me, with fierce explosions and rising fountains of soil and rock. Cowering in the concrete pillbox and being tossed around by one ferocious impact after another, I recall keeping watch out of each of the gun ports between salvos. I knew an enemy lurked in the tree line, ready to advance at any time and it was my duty to resist that surge.
Soldiers never did emerge from those woods and honestly I don’t know how it all ended as I awoke shaking with fear and my heart racing like I’d run a 100-meter dash. I’ve never had the nightmare again, nor would I want it to return, but it did grant me some peace of mind. I have a pretty healthy heart and I am capable of summoning up courage under fire.
I’ve been asked, fairly frequently, if I fear being out on my own, without the security of salaried income or sponsored benefits. My brash response up to this point has been that I’ve been sleeping like a baby since quitting my job to focus on PittMoss™. In truth, I did have a moment a few weeks ago when I awoke, panicked about having enough cash on hand to pay the bills. I reassured myself then that I most certainly had saved enough and drifted back to sleep. Seeing my final VisitPittsburgh paycheck hit my bank ledger tally, however, provided sobering evidence to my finite finances that up to that point had only been a theory. The panic returned.
Since only my savings and some seed funding from the Idea Foundry of Pittsburgh are fueling this PittMoss™ venture, at the moment, I worry I haven’t accounted enough for unforeseen contingency. Have I been overly optimistic in my revenue projections? Will I need to sell my house for additional capital before healthy cash flows emerge? As I stoke this feeble, yet promising, ember I’ll continue to agonize over having enough kindling and firewood on hand to feed the flames of this American Dream. I suspect this will always be one of my principal concerns until it is no longer my responsibility to tend the fire of this business or, of course, we accumulate an immense woodpile.
So what? I’m a little terrified about the limits of my resources and I think it is actually a great thing. It motivates me to wake up at 4 AM and work more cleverly and efficiently than I ever have. Perhaps more importantly, this fear will make me choose wisely, which contingencies I decide to pick off as they emerge unexpectedly from the tree line.