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Business as Machine

David Sherry
2 min read

A business is like a machine in the garage.

Each morning I wake up and I open the door to my garage, turn on the lights, and get out my tools.

The machine I’m making only has one purpose.

My aim is to make this machine drive and drive beautifully.

Fast, sure.

Elegantly, definitely.

It will break down, it will have issues.

And it needs to be fueled, constantly.

And after some time once the machine is built, and once it is performing well, maybe even gaining recognition among others…

We make a mistake.

One which has nothing to do with the machine and everything to do with us.

We infuse ourselves into it.

And we do this without meaning to, over time.

We start to see the machine as part of ourselves, and we form an attachment to it.

We see it's mistakes or it's triumphs as a reflection of us.

The work gets less enjoyable…

Sometimes we work double the hours but still don’t see our expected results.

We start asking more from the machine, wondering why it’s no longer providing meaning.

Or why it’s making us feel this way.

The problem is it’s just a machine.

The problem is someone who confuses these things slowly ceases to take chances...

We become careful, and protective.

And we do this because we believe that each time we’re taking a risk, we’re risking ourselves.

We do this even though taking a risk is typically only a minor mistake to something we can fix.

We’ve forgotten that what we’re working on is separate from the world outside of the garage.

And that at the end of the day, we get to return to the house, or tend to the yard and leave the machine in its spot in the garage. There's an entire world outside of it.

And once we realize this separation… we can go back to working on the machine in a new way.

Instead of drudging to the door, we wake up early to get a start on it.

We remember the pleasure of what it was like to build and the process of making tweaks and seeing results.

And we no longer lose ourselves in it.

And our upgrades to the machine happen effortlessly.

And we look forward to our time in the garage, but also outside of it.

And as we close the door for the night... we marvel at what it’s become.

xx David