Dan Pink talks about autonomy, mastery and purpose as the major tenets as to what keeps us motivated (TED Video). He also goes on to say that you need to be compensated enough to take the issue of money off the table.
I find that with developer entrepreneurs chasing startups and small businesses, there is plenty of autonomy, master and purpose in all of our endeavors. We are doing something we genuinely enjoy. There is no TGIF or 3 more hours till knockoff mentality — it’s not really work anymore when you’re deriving pleasure from your work.
However, sometimes there exists a chasm which makes us second guess if what we’re doing is right. That is, we know we are good, we know what we are capable of and where we stand but we’re not getting paid enough to take the issue of money off the table. This is particularly true for someone working in startup that still hasn’t found their product market fit after a period of time.
Perhaps sometimes you find yourself thinking: Mr. XYZ just exited his company for $XM. Is he really any better than me? Is there any tactically knowledge that he possesses that could have made the difference? How far off am I from getting on his level. I call this the ‘Just before getting you get famous moment’.
It kinda becomes a bit of a numbers game — one of your endeavors will eventually reach some level of success (subjective word). You just gotta keep at it. In the meantime, do whatever service/consultancy gig to put the food on the table. Don’t give up, you’re almost there.