I left the corporate world to pursue my startup dreams. I previously worked for the largest software development company in the world, had a healthy compensation package, and lived a very comfortable lifestyle. Since then I’ve dedicated myself to building products in the space that I love the most; technology.
I’ve dedicated the past year of my life focused on building my very own business. It’s been one of the most important things I’ve ever wanted to accomplish in life. From managing a team, creating a company culture, and executing a vision. From late nights to early mornings, daily scrum meetings to focus group feedback sessions, cross-continent conference calls to investor roadshows… it has been both a dream and a grueling process, to say the least. A process that tests both your mental, emotional and physical endurance. It’s a tough vicious cycle of ups and downs where you’ll experience two setbacks for every goal you’ll achieve. People will tell you you have a great idea or are making the right decisions. Others will rip them apart. They’ll tell you things to encourage you. And then equivocally speak behind your back. Some will offer their help. But then disappear when you actually need it.
It’s not for the faint of heart. You’re always alone. Mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Through the process, you’ll quickly learn those that really support you. The 2% that make your problem their own. Much like parents, the ones that will proactively invest their own time to ensure you are successful or at least land on your feet.
But the reality is that no one gives a shit about you. Even those that you think are close to you. People have their own dreams and problems to deal with. It’s your responsibility to do everything within your control to be successful… because I assure you, no one else cares or will do it for you.
With this being said, this process shouldn’t hinder you from pursuing your dreams. It certainly hasn’t stopped me from pursuing mine. What is has done is reset my expectations. Additionally, advise others (that are interested in entrepreneurship) to do the same. Whether you are opening a restaurant, developing an app, or building an online retail store, etc. Be prepared to enter a long journey of loneliness and continued self-doubt.
If you struggle with accepting any of the circumstances above, I advise you to consider a different career path. Otherwise find a mentor, co-founder, and surrounding yourself with others (going through the same process) that you can lean on for support to keep yourself sane. As always, stop at never…