Nearly a decade ago I launched ULost, my first startup, providing affordable web hosting to everyone. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but what it did, it did well. At it’s peak, I hosted nearly 900 paid monthly subscribers, and thousands of free accounts. But due to a series of unfortunate events and trusting the wrong people, I eventually was forced to make a tough decision: shut it down, or rebuild from the ground up. Working 14 hour days doing tech support, managing servers, and web development took alot out of me. I didn’t want to do it anymore. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was burnt out. After disappearing for a few days to clear my head, I decided to close up shop.
For years to follow, I became depressed. I felt empty. I floated from project to project. I tried to find something, anything to fill the void inside of me. No matter what I did, nothing was able to fill that passion I once had. When I would sit down to write, I couldn’t think of anything profound to say. When I tried to design, after spending hours drawing, only to end up with nothing to show. A screen just as blank as it was when I started.
I feel like I can’t make things good enough for myself. This of course leads to a whole set of other problems, like wondering what people I’ve never even met, people I don’t even know, people I shouldn’t even care about, will think. I go so far as to even imagine how they might criticize it. I can’t even begin to explain how much this imaginary criticism can eat at me at times. Sometimes I’ll even lie awake all night, wondering what I could add to make sure Random Internet Person I Don’t Even Know might like it.
I’ve set such high standards for myself, nothing I do is able to meet my own level of quality. It causes me to get stuck in this endless loop of building something and then quickly discarding it because it wasn’t good enough and the entire process would start over.
The truth is that emptiness still remains today. And maybe it wont ever go away. But I’ve come to realize nothing I ever make will be perfect. It will never please everyone, and I have to learn to settle with good enough.
Sometimes good enough is good enough.
Originally published on underlost.net at 2012-10-31T12:39:55