Yesterday, my sister and I opened our first Adore Your Walls office.
And I’m feeling all the feels.
Up until now, we have just been working from our homes, coffee shops, or Liz’s dining room table while her cats attempt to eat my lunch. Although working from home definitely has a few perks (mostly just not having to put on real pants or makeup), we also really needed a dedicated space for us to collaborate.
And a space where my kids weren’t pretending to be robots in the next room.
But moving into our office yesterday had me feeling all sorts of emotions. I’m excited about the future, I love what we are working on, and I’m yearning for the company to grow appropriately. But I’m also aware of the responsibility we are undertaking, I’m anxious about all the unknowns, and I’m homesick for the comfort of working at Dwolla.
But mostly, yesterday just reminded me of all the reasons why I love working in a startup.
As we were handed the keys to the office and I heard the lock click open for the first time, I thought to myself that I didn’t want to forget this moment. I didn’t want to forget the moment that my sister, Dad, and I were moving all the furniture into the office ourselves up three flights of stairs in the freezing Iowa winter (Fine, we took the elevator, but I thought it would make for a more dramatic story if I said stairs). I didn’t want to forget the moment that we carried in our conference table that we had bought on Craigslist, sanded, and painted ourselves. I didn’t want to forget the moment that we were assembling our own desks and shelves. I didn’t want to forget the moment that we were sitting on chairs that we had painted and reupholstered ourselves.
I didn’t want to forget the moment that we were young, scrappy, and hungry.
Because that’s the reason I love working in startups.
I love that you don’t pay someone else to do what you can do yourself. I love that you roll up your sleeves and get the work done because there is no other choice. I love that you have to fight like hell every single day to make your place in the world. I love that every day presents a new and greater challenge to overcome. I love that even though the work is so much harder, the reward is so much greater. And most of all, I love that at the end of a long, hard day, you don’t rush home right at 5pm. Instead, you stay and drink a beer with your coworkers because you are all bound together by things that are just too hard to explain to anyone else.
And while I am cherishing the startup days of Adore Your Walls, I also hope that we are fortunate enough to grow and get where we want to be as company. And when we do, I hope that Liz and I can look back on the day that we moved into our first office and remember that it wasn’t all glitz and glam that got us there.
But in fact, it was mostly just power tools and grit.