This was last night. As we started on something we thought was going to be a quick job that carried on into the late afternoon and ended up being a late-night job.

Initially, it was just the three of us. My ex-developer who had come over to help, my new intern, and myself. We were setting up the new dev and git area. If you are familiar with software development you know that you cannot do without it. We had been struggling with some problems and we had postponed the upgrade and fixes but at last the time came when the workload allow us to concentrate on housekeeping.

We started at 3 pm on a Friday evening thinking and hoping we would finish by 6 or 7 pm. Yet at 8 pm we were far from finished and we decided that we need to schedule another session for the week after. Friday’s session was fun, we had a few beers towards 6 pm, followed by crisps and the evening ended with Pizzas by the swimming pool and everyone playing virtual reality video games.

For the next session, we once again anticipated that it should take just a few hours. However, we encountered many more unexpected errors and problems. Having once again started at 3 pm it was beginning to look like another long day. By 6 pm, we were joined by my daughter and my wife in my office. Talking, laughing and everyone contributing in their own way. By 7 pm we had opened a bottle of wine and by 9 pm, we were sitting and eating once again by the swimming pool.

How many of you believe that work is fun? and how many of you ensure that work is fun? How many of you open a bottle of wine in your office at the end of a working day?

It is not necessarily about dinner by the swimming pool and it is not about smashing bottles and breaking things (like some famous startup founders have been doing).  It is about your attitude towards what you can do or not, while you are working. 

You may come up with the excuse and brush this off and say it is possible when you have more cash, but I repeat I am not saying that it is about having fun by the swimming pool.  I will share with you in the coming blog posts many other stories where we made an effort to make work fun no matter the circumstances.

If you have been following me you know that I believe in the importance of following your passion and in particular if you are a startup founder.

Two of the questions I always ask entrepreneurs

A) What would you do if you won the lottery?
B) What would you do if you never received any funding?

This picture answers both questions in my case. If I won the lottery, I would reinvest it back into my passion. My startup projects and ideas. This is where I feel my happiest. This is where I am in the flow. Time is almost irrelevant, and usually, I don’t even notice it until my legs or stomach start to complain.

And the fact for the moment remains that the few times I have bought and won the lottery amounts to just a few hundred euros, so with or without funding, I have carried on this path. It is certainly not as linear as I had anticipated and there have been more obstacles than I could have ever envisaged. The setbacks were continuous and there were times that I thought I could not handle anymore, yet I managed to get over them and continue with the project.

Ask yourself, would you rather live someone else’s dream? Or do you want to live your dream? And living your dream does not mean leaving your job? Sometimes a paid job with a pay cheque at the end of the month is that dream job. This is where you contribute to a bigger cause and it is the team effort that makes your contribution worthwhile. This is equally living your dream.

Yet other times, your dream and your passion is starting something new, leading the way, and choosing a path where no one has been on. This is where you need to keep focused on your passion and vision.

You need the focus on your vision because with every setback and challenge, you have to change route, you have to pull back, and use different strategies. When you are clear about your vision it is easy to readjust, but if you lose focus, you will soon find yourself going round and round.

And if you are passionate about what you do, then you are already doing what you love. Money might not come easy at first, but take a look at all the artists who faithfully followed their passion. Don’t falter, don’t hesitate, just trust in yourself and your instincts. If you are focused and passionate even the most arduous moments are sometimes enjoyable, and fun or at least you will look back on them with fond memories.