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Starting with a Blank Page


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One of the hardest things to do is start fresh, start anew. As an entrepreneur, you will inevitably find yourself in situations where friends, family, mentors, former coworkers...are simply unable to help. That is because you are doing something different, something that has not been done before. 

A Template For Life
 
In an excerpt from a poem I wrote in 2010, "Blank Pages and Empty Rooms" I weigh the pros and cons of a blank page. I was raised on templates. There is a way to cook, to bake, to love, to study, to be a lady. As an adult, that has been expanded to include a way to eat, walk, talk, write a contract, and even begin a business. As much as I complained about all these "rules" of society, I realized recently that I had also been comforted by this structure. 

As an entrepreneur, I have had to reexamine my fears of the blank page. In the planning stages, I still had templates to rely on - business books, business plans, financial sheets - are pretty standard. However, as I grow into my niche I find myself in more and more situations where there really is no template. It is intimidating, and sometimes even lonely, to stare at a blank page or look around an empty room or office. 

Last week, we lost an important inventor in the tech industry: Mr. Douglas Englebart.  Until last week, I only knew him as the inventor of the mouse. Upon his death, and the fresh circulation of information about his life, I learned of his many contributions. In an interview with the Computer History Museum, they describe the 1968 demo (below) of his invention as an embodiment of "Engelbart's lifelong commitment to solving humanity's urgent problems by using computers as tools to improve communication and collaboration between people." 

If you have time to watch the entire video, it is worth your 9 minutes. If you don't have much time, fast forward the cursor to begin the video three minutes and 15 seconds in to hear his description in his own voice. It was by watching this demo that I realize that scary feeling I get when I start a new project or begin to write something new is healthy and every time I run away from it, procrastinate, or fail to start my own new sheet of paper, that I am taking steps away from my vision.

start at 3:15


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