I had to do it

I’m going to be pretty honest here.

A couple of weekends ago was the Portland Lindy Exchange – an all-weekend partner dancing event that attracts dancers from all over the country.  I had been looking forward to it for some time. Lindy hop from 8pm to 3am or longer, and events during the day. But I only went Saturday night, and left at 11:30pm.  (I know you’re probably thinking: Ben, are you looking for some kind of sympathy, ‘cause this doesn’t exactly sound like a hardship – no boohooing or tears going on over here.  Yeah – I know, I swear I’m going somewhere with this.)

See, that Friday at noon I received an email inviting me to a weekend-long startup workshop: Starve-ups Launchpad.  It started in six hours. I’m not the kind of person who adjusts quickly to changes in plans, in fact I downright resist.  And this one would mean giving up most of my dance weekend and work time in exchange for a weekend of patiently listening to panels of founders telling me things I’ve already heard and awkwardly networking with other attendees, only some of whom actually founded a company and can empathize with the plight of an entrepreneur.  Ok, and since I said I’d be honest: it was outside my comfort zone. Yes, after countless startup and networking events, these things are still uncomfortable for me. But there’s one phrase I say to myself that overrides any objection:

I have to do it.

The phrase arises from an internally derived, zen-like state of clarity, and once achieved will drown out all other threads of thought in my head.

Crashing an event, cold calling, flying across the country to meet for coffee: I have to do it.  If I am to embody the founder that I have dreamt to be: I have to do it.

Arriving at this state doesn’t make the work less difficult, but by accepting rather than struggling against it, I’m energized in taking it on. And honestly, these moments and their consequences are the best I have as an entrepreneur.

As it turns out, the workshop was fantastic!

Deciding Vote has had an exciting last two weeks since then.  Multiple deals have come through and we’re starting to see really great results that even surpass our pilot.  I’ve literally been pacing my office in disbelief about some of the successes we’ve had.

One thing that was suggested at that Starve-ups workshop I attended (which turned out to be amazing, btw) was to start a secret Facebook group for our most ardent followers.  So here you go! If you’re dedicated enough to dig through our website’s blog, you certainly deserve to join this group:


I’ll be posting more behind-the-scenes updates to this group, and posting much more frequently than other social channels (including this newsletter).  I’ll also be posting pre-release versions of the app to check out and solicit feedback on.

I’d love it if you would join.