Working past midnight isn't uncommon when you're obsessed. When your thoughts are consumed with a pressing challenge, sleep doesn't come easy, and the pressure mounts each day the problem goes unsolved.
When you realize that you've stumbled on a huge pain point, with a corresponding huge opportunity, you evaluate. Do I have the skills to do something about this? Do I have the resources? Do I have the GUTS?
You realize it doesn’t matter what you have, because others didn’t have any choice. So you go for it. You also imagine fantasies of wild success, which makes the plunge easier.
You start building a solution. You quit your job, you pour every ounce of energy into the mission. You become a risk-taker, an entrepreneur. You rewrite your personal biography. You kick your own ass.
And then you hit your first roadblock, and your second. You face the dilemma of what to focus on. You debate whether to aim for impact at scale or depth. You ask, why not both?
You doubt, and if you're smart, you analyze. You learn to measure, and then you measure to learn. You solicit feedback and you test your assumptions. You iterate as you look at the data, and over time, you know you’re getting closer to delivering the results: both the social change and the profit.
But you’re not there yet. And it's a long way off.
Finally, you persevere. This is not a hobby. This is not a job. This is a calling. This is a mission. There is no quitting. Only pausing. As long as kids are bored, uninspired, and stunted by their education, the game never ends.