A few months into investment banking in New York, I stumbled on an idea and quit my job immediately to pursue it. I couldn’t afford my rent anymore, so I moved in with my co-founders into a tiny apartment and started our adventure.
Looking back, that impulsive decision ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Had I spent more time thinking about it, I might have been scared away.
For those of you that are thinking about doing a startup, I wanted to share my thoughts to some questions I had before I started Locket.
1. What am I risking by doing my own startup?
A lot of stuff. Money. Time. Failure. Relationships. Health.
But there are equally as many (if not more) risks in ignoring your own passion. The biggest risk (and my biggest fear) is that ten years from now, I look back and regret about what I did not do.
I’ve never heard anyone complain that they worked on a startup that failed. But I’ve heard many complain that they had the same idea as Uber and Instagram, and watched while these ideas grew into real businesses.
2. When is the best time to start my own company?
I have seen many who wait for the ‘best time’ to start a company, but I don’t think there is such a thing. There will always be a reason to wait.
In three years, you might have more industry experience. In five years, you might have more money. In ten years, you might have a strong network to support you.
These are all good reasons. They are also good excuses. The longer you wait, the more excuses you’ll think of.
3. What books should I read to better prepare for entrepreneurship?
Unless you are at a point in life where you can’t start a company, put down those books and start making your idea a reality. It’s a much better use of your time.
You will make lots of mistakes early on, but you’ll learn much more. It’s like learning how to swim — you can’t without being in the water.
Execute your ideas. Make mistakes. Learn. Repeat.
4. Will it be difficult to be a female leader in a male dominant tech industry?
Without having been both (female and male), who knows? But you can certainly make it better to be who you are if you are committed to believing it. It’s all about how you frame your perspective.
After all, you can’t choose your gender, but you can choose your attitude (from my previous post on Medium).
5. I can’t decide. What should I do?
Ask yourself — what would I do if I were NOT afraid? And, do THAT.