I’m now a founder.
When I first made the decision to leave my Venture Capital job and go back on my own, people told me I was doing it wrong. I had already made it into the industry, and if my new venture failed I’d have to start from scratch. But, is that so?
The most common storyline involves an entrepreneur who struggled with a couple of startups, perhaps failed with most of them, eventually had a decently successful exit and got a job at a Venture Capital firm, or even started his own fund. But, is that the only way? What if I started as a VC, watching people, learning from their mistakes and then jumping off to start my own thing?
I do not think there’s “a way”, or a single specific road to achieving your goals. As long as your ultimate mission is latent on your mind, you’re good to go.
I still remember when I sketched my career and life plan after graduating college, which was no more than a couple of months ago. I was a co-founder already. It did not go as well as planned and I was able to land a job as an investment analyst at my current VC fund. Now, I was not planning on leaving anytime soon. In fact, I was pretty happy and excited going to work everyday, but then, an unplanned opportunity arose. I was not planning on taking it, since I was very comfortable at my current job.
That’s when it came to me. I was too comfortable.
This opportunity allowed me to be a founder and the CEO of my very own venture.
I thought about all the things people would say, if I left my exciting job at a renowned Venture Capital firm to start an unknown little startup and of course, it made me feel somehow nervous. But then, I remembered that nervousness could be easily translated into excitement and fuel to prove the disbelievers it was the right choice, and even better, to prove myself it was the right choice.
Making decisions is a skill on its own, and it takes courage (or craziness) to take the riskiest choice when everything seems so logical and secure on the other side. However, even though logically it made little sense, my gut feeling and my intuition told me it was the right move. I’ve experienced first hand that the opportunities I forgo are often the ones I regret the most, rather than the ones I took and didn’t go as planned. There’s always the “what if”.
Growth is often painful, but pain is often rewarding.