We had the good fortune of connecting with Clay Ostrom and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clay, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
As an entrepreneur, this is one of the hardest and most important questions you’ll face. And the answer can probably be found within a mix of passion and traction. Passion is what drives you day in and day out. It’s what pushes you to take a few more steps up the mountain even when the peak still seems really far off. Traction is the signal that your work is paying off. It means your efforts have value and that you’re solving legitimate problems for people. To know whether to keep going or give up, you need both. And you’ll have to have regular, honest discussions with yourself, and anyone else involved, on whether both are still strong enough to continue. If either goes missing for too long, then it’s time to stop. The challenge is that the amount of passion and traction that you need is relative to your situation. If you have a side business, a lot of passion with just a little traction can carry you for a long time. On the flip side, if you have lots of traction but little passion, you may not need to stop, but you might consider handing the reins over to someone else. Starting and running a business is an incredible test. It will definitely make you want to give up at times. Maybe many times. But, it’s also incredibly satisfying. It will make you stronger as a person. It will provide a deep connection with your work. And it will give you a level of freedom in your life that only comes from forging your own path. If the passion and traction are there, then keep going. It won’t be easy, but the experience and rewards can be awesome.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I’m incredibly proud of what Map & Fire has grown into over the past 5 years. We get to help other entrepreneurs and business leaders clarify and strengthen their brand and marketing to grow their businesses. And through that we help them provide value to their customers and gain more personal satisfaction in what they do. Our vision is that the resources for pursuing entrepreneurship are accessible and easy to use for everyone. So, we put a lot of effort into providing free articles and guides to go along with our paid products, services, and courses. Overall, the biggest lesson I’ve learned through this journey is to lean into your relationships. That goes for collaborating with others to grow what you’re building and investing in the clients and community that you’re serving. However long Map & Fire ends up going I want the brand to always be viewed as one that genuinely cares about relationships and people.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For food, we have to hit up Howlin’ Rays Nashville-style hot chicken in downtown Los Angeles. The wait can take up to 2 hours because it’s that good. Only order above medium-level heat if you like to sweat while you eat. For culture, The Getty Museum is one of the most beautiful places in the entire area. It would be worth visiting for the architecture and views alone, but then you also get to absorb the incredible art inside. For outdoor fun, we could hit Hermosa Beach for a little sun, surfing, and food. And then (once sports come back!) we can cap it off with a Clippers game. You could also see the Lakers, but personally I prefer the underdog.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve been lucky to have many people inspire me and propel me over the years, but my wife Lisa and son Miles are the two that are with me every single day. Their incredible and unconditional level of support and love has helped fuel my entrepreneurial journey the most.