Rain, Rain Go Away

I was born and raised in Seattle. It is my home and the city my grandparents immigrated to from Zagazig, Egypt, in 1969 with four kids, a few hundred bucks and no job. Talk about a leap of faith.

A side effect of living in a city with eight months of grey clouds and precipitation is seasonal depression, for me anyway. It wasn’t until my senior year in college I recognized the drastic impact the weather had on my attitude and behaviors. People who really know me see the tale of two Paul’s. On one hand I am energetic, ambitious and charismatic. On the other hand is the fearful, lazy person who won’t leave his bed in the winter.

Over the last two years, I tried a number of remedies including exercise and a happy light to increase my serotonin levels. It does not replicate the natural boost I feel from seeing and absorbing the sun.

This past winter was the peak of my state of numbness. If getting out of bed in pure darkness wasn’t hard enough, my job at a local startup as a cold-calling sales representative required me to be up at 5 a.m. and make 100 calls somedays. I raced home after work every day anxious to get back to my bed, the one place I felt comfortable. I wanted to quit my job everyday in November and December.

I didn’t though. Outside of my day job I had been working on my startup, RentHoop. My goal was to continue to make money and develop my sales skills until I had enough runway and traction to quit my job and work on RentHoop full-time. That wouldn’t be for another 6 months though. My startup got me out of bed every morning when that felt like such a difficult task. That was the little fuel I needed to persevere.

In January, my mentor at work sensed the uneasiness in my voice and pulled me aside. We had one of the most important conversations I’ve had and it stemmed from a casual, “How are you? No, really?” I battled through the next four months with purpose and it showed as I went from one of the lowest- performing sales performers to one of the most consistent and highest-performing.

April 29th, I earned the opportunity to quit my job and work on my bootstrapped startup, RentHoop, full-time. Walking out of the office for the last time, on my best sales day ever nonetheless, was the best decision I’ve ever made for myself.

As a 24-year old, my brain is trained to get things when I want them. It’s a side effect of growing up with technology that is able to deliver results to consumers at a click of a button. Trusting the process is hard when you don’t see instant gratification. Deep down, I knew it was the only thing I could do. My destiny would never be fulfilled until I took that jump.

Just like my Grandpa did 47 years earlier.

[Paul is the CEO and Co-Founder of RentHoop, a new mobile app that connects renters looking for roommates. More information can be found on RentHoop.com]

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