Why I Left a Great Career Path and a Great Salary to Become Broke…

Eric Sloan
Jan 27, 2016 · Unlisted
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…and start a software company.

2016 was a good year for my career.

I was named in the 30 under 30 list in BC Business.

I had a great salary, and my CV was looking better every year.

I was president of a company that had doubled it’s staff and grown more than 1100% in the 3 years I had worked there.

We had big plans, and we were expanding quickly into over 30 countries.

But something wasn’t quite right.

And I knew I couldn’t stay.


Maybe it’s because I got bored.

Maybe it’s because I wanted more risk and more excitement.

Maybe it’s because I wanted a bigger piece of the pie.

But mostly it’s because I no longer wanted to have someone else in charge of my career… or my life.

The CV and the accolades are great… but for what? A better chance at getting picked by someone in the future? Or a way to “get any job I want”?

So what?

I was still working for a salary. Still working for a business I hadn’t started. Still working for someone else that basically had my career in their hands.

If I wanted a new opportunity, or a new learning experience, I was limited to what was available and what opportunities were ‘given’ to me. If a decision was made to change my responsibilities, I would have to accept it or leave.

So I made a decision. A decision to choose myself. To take matters into my own hands, and to walk down a path without promises or guarantees. A path that could possibly lead to ruin. A path that without hard work and passion would almost certainly lead me back to working for someone else, and begging to be ‘picked’.

I chose to start a software company: mare.io.

One that doesn’t make any money… yet.

One that scares the shit out of me almost daily.

One that reminds me just how little I know, and keeps me humble.

One that sends doubt shivering down my spine regularly.

One that my friends told me not to start.

“Why don’t you try to join another startup? One with traction? One that doesn’t require you to build EVERYTHING? Don’t you need money? You should take advantage of your recent good press…”

I realize that starting a software company has become almost cliché these days, with a startup on every corner. But I hold no naive ambitions about building the next Facebook or Twitter.

Sure, I’m not making nearly as much money as I was last year, but I genuinely just love to build cool shit. (Good ‘shit’ :D)

I want to build things that help people do something valuable…

… or that inspires someone.

… or brings people together.

… or simply just looks beautiful.

And that’s what I’m going to do.

Until the day I die.

If you’re interested in checking out mare.io, it’s a free website survey tool that anyone can use to get valuable feedback from their website visitors and users.

I would love your [honest] feedback :)

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