1. Embrace that Control is an Illusion
I remember telling a friend when I began working on my app that I would try it out for a few months and if it doesn't fly, let it go and go do something else. He responded (correctly) "No. You will revise and revise and revise until it does work."
I didn't realize at the time, but this is classic innovation. This is working to solve a problem you love and burning through 100's of solutions until you find one that works.
I found when I finally simply embraced that I didn't know what I was in for, but I wouldn't want it any other way, I relaxed about it and even learned to enjoy it!
2. Get Ready to Grow
As an engineer as a scientist, searching high and low for solutions was still well within my comfort zone.
But bringing my idea to market, blows us engineers/scientists right out of our comfort zones. I had to become a self-promoter, marketer, blogger, talker, sales and support person! All the roles I feel very uncomfortable with and need to grow into.
And I had the classic blind spot of thinking that getting something to work was all that was required to get others to use it! Wrong. What really happens is that nobody uses or cares about what you built until you find a permutation of your idea that works for people.
In the meantime, get ready to grow really thick skin as you absorb piles and piles of 'constructive criticism' from the precious few people that do take time out of their busy lives to check it out your idea!
3. Stay in Touch with the Love
I have heard it said by start-up incubators that what keeps a classic startup from hanging in there and not dying is fear of the shame of failure.
I can say after over 3 years developing my idea and being more committed now than ever, I am not driven by shame. I am driven by my love of the problem I am trying to solve that brings me a sense of purpose and connection to humanity.
As our HopeLab friends remind us, three keys to resilience are connection, purpose and um...control (Ok, two out of three isn't bad!), so I don't think it is an accident that I am still in the game and plan to be for the long haul.
And as I am putting my idea out there, I am actually developing a fan club of people that my app has helped. Many are people I know and care about which is immensely rewarding. And now they won't let me quit because they also want my app out in the world helping others!
It's as if my resilience with my app is contagious and growing! This is something I feel immense gratitude for that I can't imagine happening working on projects that are motivated by financial gain.