Working tirelessly, mid-life crisis and making money

Why do so many of us go to work?  Really have you ever had a weekend to think about why you work tirelessly everyday of your life?  Is it to

Provide a better future for your family?

One day afford that beautiful house you dreamed of?

Have enough saved for retirement?

Perhaps you want to enjoy the treasures of life and money certainly helps in that pursuit?

How much money is enough?  100k? 1 million?

I have been grappling with questions, passion and meaning of success since 2011, when I quit my full-time job at BP-3.  The CTO of BP-3 and a good friend of mine said Hans you’re going through a mid-life crisis and he was right.  I was just 31, old in valley standards, and this early on-set of mid-life crisis has been nothing short of a painful eye opener. When I say painful I mean it in the most amazing way.

Mid-life crisis, 2011 – present

Consulting

I recognized corporate life was not for me so I started consulting.  I thought I loved traveling so consulting gave me an opportunity to travel, not be bound to any one project for so long that boredom set in  and also presented new social challenges of maintaining relationships with clients.  I actually was hated by one of my clients and a few months later given a hug when I left by another.  I would say I got pretty good at client management.

Gaming startup

I no longer enjoyed traveling because I wanted to be around my wife and family, plus I wanted to work on products and not services.  I quit consulting and wanted to work on an idea of my own but then I met Chris Halaschek and decided to join his pursuit of startup, HashGo.  We were a team of 5 awesome guys who were all good at what we did.  I tell Chris all the time, he is one of the smartest people I have ever had the opportunity to work with. He helped me a become a better software engineer.  I quit HashGo after working on it for 8 months because runway was shrinking and it was going to become awfully tough to manage a soon to be born baby Bani with BART’ing into work everyday.

Time off

I took time off for 1 month and did a lot of soul searching, I had so many ideas but wasn’t sure where to begin. Finally I chose something I had discussed a lot with my friends and we all felt it was an issue which needed resolution

My first personal startup

SimplyMatchME solves a real problem for South Asians.  I passionately built SimplyMatchME with my own hands but I did it all wrong. I thought the path to success was tirelessly coding till 3am in the morning and then marketing all day long. Surely,

“If I work hard i’m bound to succeed”, WRONG

I burned myself out.  I never built a team.  Big mistake.

SimplyMatchME still continues but it’s nowhere near the success I expected out of the sweat I put into it.

Making money

Throughout my life making money has never been the motivating factor.  We are all groomed to think that success = financial reward, but not all success is bound to financial returns.  Success to me is accomplishing our goals and perhaps financial rewards follow.  Success & recognition of solving an interesting problem is what has driven me, yet in my lifeI have no successful products and recognition to show for it.

Maybe I have been thinking about it all wrong? Maybe making tons of mula should be the primary motivating factor? Perhaps its not binary and there’s a balance between doing things we enjoy and work we do to make the enjoyment possible?

Money never made anyone happy, but it sure helps. – I read it somewhere and always stuck around

My mid-life crisis continues as I search for my success, happiness (and perhaps money)…

 

Categories: Blog

4 comments

  • Jag

    I enjoyed reading your reflections. People always say do what you love and the money will follow. I don’t believe that at all. Work to me is something you do to sustain your lifestyle and its not necessarily meant to be enjoyed. I put in my 8 to 5 and the enjoyment starts when I leave work. Work hard to make money and then use that money to enjoy life. Its not one and the same.

  • Ramjotvir Singh

    Good read, Hans. Continue to pursue tangible, realistic goals and the success and happiness desired will follow.

    We are always our own biggest critic– some of this is a healthy self-relection which can help us find growth and opportunity… while some, can be exhausting and debilitating.

    You are doing well for yourself. You are challenging what you want/desire. You are not conforming to societal standards to continue to chase the paper that so dearly dictates our lives. Each person finds happiness in different ways. There is a hidden beauty in the struggle/challenge you are going through.

    Enjoy, and safe travels.

  • Taran

    Great read!! I just gave my 1 month notice on Tuesday. It was a very difficult decision for me as I felt very conflicted. At times I would ponder the same question why am I working? I felt guilty for not being able to give 110% to work and to being a mom. My happiness success and wealth was now measured in terms of me being a mom and not by my career. Granted I know not everyone cannot not work so I feel fortuante to be able to make that decision, with obviously some lifestyle changes! I think in the end everyone has their own definition of what their career brings to the table, there’s no black and white answer. You just got to follow your heart and so far you have been doing that, so good luck in figuring out the next steps!!

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