Confessions of an Insecure Entrepreneur
“I quit my job.”
“Why? What are you going to do?”
“Figure out what I want to do.”
I am a 23 year old engineer turned product designer, which opens up possibilities for a lot of hot jobs in tech today. I’ve previously worked at Google, Zomato and a few hot startups.
Six months ago I quit my comfortable job to pursue something I wasn’t sure of. Here’s the truth why anyone quits their job: Asymmetric goals of the company and the individual.
I wanted to start a business. I had a few ideas I wanted to work on. I felt that there is never going to be a perfect time. Earlier I jump out, the better.
Time after time when things don’t work out, it creates insecurities. I’ve created a list of few and pushing them out for no real reason. Here we go.
“Maybe get another job?”
It’s the easiest resort. Going back in the system where every last day of the month you see your bank account bump up. A little by little. Masking the layer of security in life.
A professional is a commodity. And salary is the price that market of defines based on demand and supply. It’s not easy to not take the offers of exciting companies. But it’s the weight of disappointment of not living up to the potential.
Like an undervalued stock that can give multi-bag returns, or an old piece of code that can have much efficient execution. All you need to give it, is time.
And that makes all the difference.
“Another young ambitious guy.”
People don’t trust a 23 year old to make decisions they themselves couldn’t have made when they were young, especially when you didn’t go to IIT, bro.
They expect you to follow the rules, stay under the hood, do what’s asked. Because that’s how they’ve lived too.
“Am I good enough?”
You’ll never have all the skills. And the list of things you must learn are never ending. Sales, legal, design, code, finance — just to start with.
And the only way to learn is by feedback, so you keep doing what you have to without focusing on perfection. But self-doubt doesn’t take long to kick in when things are not working out.
“Everyone is hoping you’ll fail.”
It’s a pretty nasty side of human behaviour.
Beta males are hoping. White knights are hoping. Feminists are hoping. Believe it or not, some of your friends and family members are hoping. They want you to fail because your success is their failure. It reminds them of their laziness, their poor work ethic. I’m sorry to tell you that they all want you to fail. Their subtle jabs and withholding of encouragement are aimed to keep you in an inferior station. No one wants to see someone rise at faster speed than themselves.
There is no point in telling other people your goals. They will talk you out of it or give you bad advice. There is no point trying to convince others of your world view. They will plant seeds of doubts that prevent you from action and seeing the truth. The minute you go just slightly higher than you have been, they will try to sabotage you. They are the worrymongers, fearmongers, scaremongers, shamemongers, guilt-trippers, trolls, and haters. Ignore them. Feeding them brings you down to their level, which is exactly what they want.
You’re completely on your own. You don’t need help from anyone. If you can’t reach your goals without the validation and support of other human beings, the bulk of whom I promise are against you, then you don’t deserve to succeed.
Insecurities are real.
It exists in every human being. It’s only how well one can deal with those, keep them aside and focus what’s bigger than their own self.
Most people don’t get the idea of “experimenting” with life. But what’s the worst that could happen? (Considering I don’t get into any legal mess) I’ll have to get a job over again? So be it.
There is luck, undoubtedly. But you have to give luck a chance. And when you do that you can’t sit back and relax. You’ve got to attract luck too.
You can’t even win the lottery without buying a ticket.
What gives me hope is this
“We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won’t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth — nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Land of Opportunities
There are ton of them! So many, that picking the right one has also become a challenge.
But hey, ideas are like astral projections. They exist in the nature of the world. Any one can dream ideas, but it takes action to bring them on the ground and make them a reality. It is that effort that takes heart and soul of the person.
“Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.” — Mark Zuckerburg
Hunger is Back
Over the past months, the free time I had was mostly filled up by reading, watching, traveling, observing, listening. The fire it creates, to make things happen, is real. And the game is all about grit.
I don’t know what’s the itch. It’s a feeling you don’t want to get over with.
Feels like real education has just begun. And still at 0%.
Thanks for reading. Reach out at @gbaheti if there is anything I can help you with.