The monthly bills were growing larger and larger, but so was our conviction that we were positively unstoppable and on our way to something great. Then I got an urgent call, informing me that our deal had been vetoed from "the very top of the organization." I was lost.
Truth be told, although I may have always behaved and thought like an entrepreneur, I had never imagined myself as one -- in fact, I was terrified of the idea. Me, on my own, building on such a big fantasy of an idea, starting a company, chasing billion-dollar customers and fighting off billion-dollar competitors?
I am different. I have always been different. I grew up scared of being found out, scared of my natural inability to fit in, to conform, to look and sound and dress and behave "normal." But then something remarkable happened: one day I was carrying a flag and didn't even care to count how many were actually following me.
I feel lucky to be gay in a society like ours, because being "different" is actually a competitive edge in our country -- not a liability. When you're different, you stand out a little bit; and when you stand out, you're already a tiny little step ahead and your brand is already a little bit stronger. You are more noticeable, more memorable -- perhaps even a little more poised for success.