20 Things I’m Thankful for as an Entrepreneur

I’ve had the good fortune to have some time on my hands of late. And like the child of two psychiatrists should, and is uncontrollably compelled to do, I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on my experience.  AddThis (formerly Clearspring) was not only my first start-up, but was also my first job.

It’s been an incredible journey. Since getting funded in 2006, we’ve raised nearly $70 million dollars. With that funding we’ve built the largest social sharing and targeting platform used by 14 million web sites reaching 1.3 billion unique users, seen our revenue grow into the millions, and – most importantly – built an amazing team of 100 people across the country. So, it’s probably worth some cycles processing the experience.  I’ll be writing a couple of posts this summer related to this topic, but I think it’s best to start with a bit of humility.

I’m blessed. All entrepreneurs, no matter how successful, are also blessed. Building a company is a unique experience – a gift. It shows us the potential of our world and our ability to transform that potential into something great if we simply have the courage to take a shot. For this, I’m truly thankful.   Sometimes I think we all get so caught up in the outcome, or competition, that we forget the inherent reward earned while undertaking the spiritual quest of entrepreneurship.

With that in mind, I thought it’d be appropriate to start with the 20 things I’m most thankful for as an entrepreneur.  This was a bit tough, but think I hit the 80/20.

  1. A chance to make a dent in the universe
  2. Family that believed
  3. Friends that cared
  4. Customers who’d try
  5. Team that would go the extra mile
  6. Investors that made a bet (and then another)
  7. Mentors that provided flashlights
  8. An education of extremes
  9. Feeling the value of cash
  10. Building the courage to ask for the sale
  11. Learning humility from my (many) failures
  12. Gaining confidence from my (few) successes
  13. Understanding my limitations
  14. Learning to trust in others
  15. Finding out that anything’s possible
  16. Appreciating the mess
  17. Developing the skills to build something from nothing
  18. Learning that when in doubt, move.
  19. Realizing I can do better
  20. Having the health to take another shot
hoomanradfar Written by:

  • great post. definitely agree on all points.

  • Awesome post Hooman.

  • Tk

    Magic ingredients. Glad you’re reflecting. Well deserved.

  • Hooman

    Thanks all…glad it worked for you!

  • Dude. I remember when it was just a conversation in the cheap seats of an Airbus from SFO–>PIT…this marks an era for me. 

    • Anonymous

      Yep. 🙂  Speaking of which, you’d better email me so we can catch up.   Am going to be around your neck of the woods next week, so let’s get a beer. 

  • This is beautiful, especially love “Mentors that provided flashlights” Way to pass on the wisdom & light! 

  • This is the Hooman I remember. Thank you for reminding me that he still existed somewhere. 

    I can’t believe it was over 5 years ago that I joined you in VA. And that we are past 10 years from when you drove me from Philadelphia to  Pittsburgh with a stop in PSU on the way.

    I miss this Hooman. At least once a week I think about you, and I wish I hadn’t soured our friendship. I realize now that I was emotionally immature and unprofessional in how I acted with you, and for that I’m truly sorry.

    Here’s to our 30s being filled with the same tumult and excitement as our 20s, but also with more hugs, smiles, wine, friends, and reserved perspective. Hopefully at some point we can meet up, grab a beer, hug it out, and renew our friendship. Thinking about that day just put a smile on my face.

  • Anonymous

    Raj, miss you too man.  Thanks for the kind words.  Really glad you reached out.   Let’s catch up.  Will ping you to follow-up.    

  • Soraya Radfar

    I will mom