Everyone’s Rushing To Be An Entrepreneur (aka Why I Don’t Have A Startup)


I think deep down I’ve been meaning to write this for a while, but it wasn’t until I read Mukund Mohan‘s post today that I was inspired to just get it out there. Definitely read Mukund’s post too, by the way — Great read!

Friends have been asking me for a few years now what my startup is going to be (a dozen or so — is that even considered a lot or am I just kidding myself?) Either way, it’s very kind of them to insinuate I should start my own startup. I’m reading into this the assumption that they think I would be a successful founder. So here are the reasons I haven’t had a go at it yet:

1.) I don’t have the right idea yet. It’s not only about finding a pain point or completely new idea. It’s also about having the instinct for product development, the connections, and the passion to devote several stressful years of your life to making this dream a reality. One great piece of advice I recently heard is that entrepreneurs should always be asking themselves “Am I the right person to be doing this at this time?” Until I find the intersection where something I’m truly passionate about, my strengths and the correct timing meet, it just doesn’t make sense for me to take the plunge.

2.) It takes A LOT of blood, sweat and tears. I’ve been working with entrepreneurs pretty closely the last 3 years, and I’ve seen what it can do to some very intelligent, even-keeled, all-around wonderful people. The stresses of entrepreneurship are often compared to manic depression. One day, it looks like you’re on the right path and things are lining up like it was meant to be, the next, you’re losing traction, faith in yourself, and feel depressed that you spent years of your life on a baby that will ultimately fail.

3.) I’m not sure I have what it takes. It takes a very special and talented person to be successful at founding startups. Why else would there be such a high failure rate? You need to listen to advisors, but also have enough conviction to know when to follow your gut. You need to be stubborn and not give up, but be flexible enough to pivot if your original idea just isn’t resonating with your target market. You need to be very good at sales, marketing and product development (or develop those skills quickly!) since you’ll be wearing all of these hats and more in the beginning. And that’s just scratching the surface.

3 b.) Women lack self-confidence. According to loads of articles on why there are so few female entrepreneurs (a real explosion of those articles in the last 1-2years!), this may also be simply because I am a woman. We are socialized and probably have natural tendencies not to put ourselves out there or just run with it as much as men do. While I’m aware of this and compensate as best I can, it still feels like something that’s holding me back. Either way, if I ever do find an idea I feel strongly enough about to go for it and found a startup, I’ll be very grateful for all the encouragement friends and family gave me along the way!

What I’m really trying to get at here is that entrepreneurship is hip and cool right now, but the media glorify the fulfilling, glamorous aspects of the job to the detriment of a comprehensive understanding of all its realities. While I love the feeling of having a big impact I can see (never mind the celebrity if you strike it Uber famous), I have little illusions about just how hard it’s going to be: years of 70-80 hour weeks, sleepless nights, and despair when it looks like things aren’t going to work, hopefully followed by periods of elation when things look up again… Rinse, wash and repeat.

At a panel at RocketSpace just a few weeks ago the founder of Eventbrite said that if she’d known ahead of time just how difficult and stressful starting her own company would be, she might not have gone through with it. It’s not to say I haven’t learned a lot from everyone I’ve worked with and the hundreds of startup events I’ve attended. I’ve been fortunate to get that much advice before even starting. For better or worse, I know just what I’d be getting myself into.

Advertisements

A Little Anniversary Celebration


November 11, 2014 was officially my one year anniversary at RocketSpace, so I thought I would celebrate by looking up all the random photos I’ve been tweeted in. Sadly, I couldn’t find the older ones where visitors snapped shots of me at the front desk, but I still managed to find some fun ones 🙂

It’s been a great year at RocketSpace! I recently managed to volunteer my way into a promotion (yay!), so feel free to send referrals my way. I’ll get to officially move into my new role once we bring someone new on board and get him or her all trained up 😉 Friends can check out the job description here: Front of House Job Description – RocketSpace

And now, for the photos…

A little Team Tee Tuesday love 🙂 I love the CyberZ USA gals!

On a side note, my good friend Anders is co-founder of the delectable Spicy Vines mulled wine company. Highly recommend you check them out and buy their wine! It’s delish 😉

Until next time!

OK… so I kind of had to add this one retroactively O:)

Found another one!

A Sweet Last Day at Contract Live


As anyone who read my last blog post knows, Friday was my last day at Contract Live. Before I share pictures from my going-away party, I’d like to briefly explain the reason for my departure.

The short of it is that it just wasn’t the right startup for me. My bosses and I agreed that someone else would be a better match for the startup and the position, so we’re leaving on very good terms =]

This was a very interesting first experience working in France: I got a great introduction into French startups, learned a lot about how things work here, and had a very intelligent boss to learn all sorts of things from. It may not be the best place for me, but I definitely don’t perceive it as time wasted and will keep some nice memories!

So now it’s time to get back out there and look for work =] Do let me know if you hear of any Bay Area startups looking for someone to come in and help with comm., social media and e-marketing, amongst other things O=]

I’m still waiting on pictures (and videos ;D) to come in from coworkers, but here’s a sneak peak and I’ll update this post once I have everything.

I hid Kinder Surprise (Yum!) eggs all over our office for everyone to find in an early Easter celebration! There was one hidden in the printer O=D

Bowser laid an egg!

Project Happy: I have 2 moments to share from today.

1.) I had tons of fun riding on the back of a friend’s motorcycle all over Paris. We drove alongside the Seine River to go to the Eiffel Tower =]

2.) That same friend told me I seemed like an energetic, smart kid and that I’d be going places, so he’d like me to hit him up when I decide to start my own business (I’m sooo flattered he thinks I have so much potential and have what it takes to create my own startup <3)

What about you? Tell me about a nice moment you had today =]

How young is old? Making the most of the time I have, Part 2


Sorry it took me so long to get back to discussing this! I’m glad you guys liked my first post on this topic though =] Let’s continue our discussion…

PART 2 Where does work fit into all this?

The other day a friend of mine asked me why I work so much. I have savings and my parents are kindly paying my university fees and rent… so why do I always have a job? Food, clothes and movies don’t cost that much! (although university books do =/)

Is this the look of a workaholic? Working while others socialize

I guess there are 2 parts to this.

  1. Honestly, I just like to work. Internships and part-time jobs always teach me something. They stimulate me intellectually and make me feel good about being productive. I know this may sound strange to many people, but I just wouldn’t enjoy being a couch potato every once in a while if I wasn’t doing lots with the rest of my time. (Notice how this ties in to my other post about Growing Up Abroad ;D)
  2. Financial security. I have savings now, and I would like to keep it that way. I’ve seen what a depression can do the last few years and I want to keep adding to my little pile of gold, scrooge-style (that, and I do love to shop!)

Relating this back to getting old too quickly… is working part of living life to the fullest? Is it only taking away from the time I could be spending doing other things like traveling? It’s true that it has been taking time away from exercise, but I truly enjoy doing PR and social media for trint.me, a startup I started working for a few weeks ago.

My other job, BathFitter, I’m doing more for the money. I enjoy working there sometimes, but some shifts can turn out to be excruciatingly boring… Is that a good balance?

Should I quit my jobs and just enjoy life until I move to France?