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<title>Why you need your own company </title>
<p>
It was early 2008. I had agreed to <a href="http://sivers.org/bye-bye-baby">sell my company</a> - my sole obsession of the last 10 years. The paperwork was processing.
</p><p>
I hated having 85 employees. It had become a little hell. I needed to get away and clear my mind.
</p>
<img align="right" src="http://sivers.org/images/onsen.jpg" width="166" height="250" alt="http://www.flickr.com/photos/adriangray/170353791/" />
<p>
I went as far away as I could - to a <a href="http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Furusato+onsen&amp;m=tags">hot-springs Shinto shrine on a volcano</a> at the <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;source=s_q&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=sakurajima&amp;sll=36.204824,138.252924&amp;sspn=28.577636,57.128906&amp;g=japan&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=43.261206,133.505859&amp;spn=25.891227,57.128906&amp;z=5">southern tip of Japan</a>. (<a href="http://vimeo.com/1292105">See video</a>.)
</p><p>
I sat silently. I steamed. I soaked. I slept to the sounds of the sea.
</p><p>
I could not have been more relaxed. My head was empty.
</p><p>
<strong>For the first time in ten years, I had nothing I needed to do. No responsibilities. No plans.</strong>
</p><p>
What a relief, right? Can you imagine?
</p><p>
I brought along the great book <a href="http://www.poorcharliesalmanack.com/seekingwisdom.html">Seeking Wisdom</a>, and read in my peaceful Japanese ocean-facing room.
</p><p>
The book was great. <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Munger">Charlie Munger</a>'s thoughts on behavioral finance were brilliant and contrarian. <strong>This book was inspiring all kinds of entrepreneurial ideas that I wanted to try!</strong>
</p><p>
When I was at <a href="http://cdbaby.com/">CD Baby</a>, I'd be able to play with new ideas immediately. (“What if we had a <a href="http://cdbaby.com/sale">$5 sale</a>?” “What if I could co-op <a href="http://cdbaby.net/swiper">card swipers</a>?” “What if I could <a href="http://it.cdbaby.net/swiper">go multi-lingual</a>?”) Any time I had an idea, I'd be able to test it out within days.
</p><p>
But now, for the first time in 10 years, <strong>since I had no company, I couldn't test out these new ideas!</strong> All I could do was read, think, and maybe write about it. Damn!
</p><p>
Then I realized why I need to start a new company. Not for the money. Not because I'm “bored”. But because <strong>a company is a laboratory to try your ideas</strong>. (The word “laboratory” is defined as a room for research, experimentation or analysis. I think of it as a sandbox or playpen.)
</p><p>
Realizing this in my peaceful hot-springs, I caught a train back to <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fukuoka">Fukuoka</a>, and jumped into action.
</p><p>
I started <a href="http://muckwork.com/">MuckWork</a> so I could play with <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing">crowdsourcing</a> while helping people get their boring work done.
</p><p>
I re-launched <a href="http://musicthoughts.com/">MusicThoughts</a> to experiment with a fully multi-lingual site, and <a href="http://lang.pro/">lang.pro</a> to organize this translation work.
</p><p>
I set up <a href="http://nownownow.com/">Now Now Now</a> as the incubator/holding company and an experiment in <a href="http://www.buzzmachine.com/what-would-google-do/">transparency</a>.
</p><p>
And all of my education-based projects (<a href="http://sivers.org/ss">Success Stories</a>, <a href="http://sivers.org/doc">Documentary</a>, and <a href="http://sivers.org/coaching">Coaching</a>), which I'm wrapping into one bigger scope soon.
</p><p>
And <strong>this made me happier than doing nothing. This isn't work, it's play.</strong> It's my place to try my ideas.
</p><p>
We all need some time off. A change of scene and pace. Silence and solace if we're stressed. Reckless adrenaline if we're in a rut.
</p><p>
But for those of us who think that an eternal escape from work would be paradise, don't forget that <strong>we all need a playground</strong>, and your own company is one of the best playgrounds of all.
</p><p>
<em>“If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert.” - Australian psychiatrist W. Béran Wolfe</em>
</p><p>
<em>“Find a happy person, and you will find a project.” - Sonja Lyubomirsky</em>
</p>
<img src="http://sivers.org/images/mad-scientist.jpg" width="400" height="400" alt="Mad Scientist" />