Failure, happiness and success
I turned 35 this year and for some reason this year feels very different. I say that every year but this year is special. I've had a lot of opportunities to analyze my life, and more importantly to LIVE MY LIFE. To spend time with my precious babies and my beautiful wife. I have no income and no itch to try changing the status quo. I'm basically retired. I'm at peace with my life like I have never been before. So I decided to start jotting down my thoughts on the blog which I have neglected for a long time.
Why is it so easy to fail? When someone says "key to happiness is...." do you really believe them? When they say "he's so successful he has sold two companies for 100's of millions of dollars" does that make you feel empowered to do something? Sad because you haven't achieved the same? Jealousy because you know "he got lucky" twice". In this post i'm going to speak my mind on my last few years and things I have learned being in the startup epicenter, Silicon Valley.
My recent failures
I think about failure a lot. In-fact, in my professional career, last few years have all been failure after failure.
At Stubhub, I just wasn't motivated enough. No matter what Navin tried I was a lost case. He was a good manager. I was a poor worker. I didn't like what I was doing so I didn't think much. But I also didn't know what I liked.
At BP-3, I enjoyed the independence of making decisions backed by an amazing friend and boss, Scott Francis. This however is when I also entered into my mid-life crises. I still remember the detailed conversation I had with Scott telling him I needed to do something different. I loved working with the team.
Next up was HashGo. Damn what a good time this was. I moved to SF paying $4500 a month! It was worth every single dollar I spent. Working with Chris, Bob, Bernardo, and Alex was probably as good as it has ever been. I would take this team and put up with against ANY startup team, just top notch. But here again I had to step away because I had an itch to do something on my own and we were soon expecting baby Bani.
I started SimplyMatchMe because I thought there was a need for a better way to find someone, something better than Shaadi.com turns out it's almost impossible to make money in dating unless you have a huge database (Shaadi, match, etc). Anyone can create a new process of meeting people but the main asset is users. SimplyMatchME still runs, though I don't really give it much attention.
Mountary was somewhat an anomaly, because this was my first foray into a real business where I saw REAL MONEY coming in. We were accepted into 500 startups (Batch 11) and things went well until we had a tough fund raising cycle. I needed to step away because the bank account was knocking empty and I also needed to spend more time with my kids (now two because Aades was born in July).
Honestly I know the recipe for happiness for myself and its easily attainable on a daily basis.
Turn off my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram feeds. Stop reading article headlines and endlessly scrolling through Instagram pictures. Oh, and totally ignore Techrunch.
To me the happiest times are when i'm so absorbed in my own life that I forget to eat, have no clue where my phone is, and when i'm laughing because Paul just told the funniest joke in a long time (no clue how he comes up with these jokes which are so timely). When i'm planting new flowers in my garden, taking evening walks with the family or going away to Sacramento to see Sunny and Sonal.
If someone tells you money is the source of all evil they are wrong. Money is a necessity and much needed to secure resources for survival. It becomes a tool for evil when our desires overcome our thoughts. When we constantly desire for more and more and more. I don't require a lot of money, because my lifestyle is simple. I still drive a 16 year old mustang, i'll probably keep it around till it turns into a classic. I don't carry debt because I hate owing anything to anyone. Message me if you have issues with finance I would love to see you get out of debt and live a free life.
I want to just say one more time, PLEASE PLEASE if there is one thing you have control over, it's debt. Exercise control and live within your means, whatever they are. Change your lifestyle until you are out of debt, you'll get a great night sleep like you have never had.
Keys to my happiness have been : Amazing wife, seriously. A top notch mom and dad. No Debt. Good understanding of finance. Frugal lifestyle. Great friends. Lots of fun, crazy, and outright stupid experiences to cherish. Realization that i'm ordinary. Knowing that my time on earth is a easily overlooked decimal compared to the entire universal clock.
Success - to each his own
Really success for me is living a life in which I am proud of my actions and constantly learning from mistakes. I look back at and think about the proudest moments of my life.
13 years - my first tennis tournament and I won - Ok I didn't really but they gave me a trophy and that was such a great feeling as a kid.
16-18 - MVP of the tennis team and top 20 ranking in Norcal Tennis.
UC Davis Men's tennis & Computer Science - I got into UC Davis purely on the basis of Tennis and luck. I called Darly Lee just to talk about the tennis program and he was interested in me joining the team. 2 weeks later I had a letter of acceptance to UC Davis. I joined as Computer Science though I didn't know a lick about computers.
UC Davis Graduation - This was success because I don't really know what I learned academically. Really the success was on the social side. I made lifelong friends Sunny, Paul, Balli, Gugu and Rob to name a few. I learned how to socialize. How to be a good friend. What it means to have best friends.
Quitting the corporate world - I never belonged in the corporate structure from my first job to the last, I was never motivated, never really happy. The hardest part in quitting was the fact that I didn't what I wanted to do. In-fact I still don't know what it is that I want to do =)
Daddy day care - I am currently full time dad taking care of my babies. If you think startups are hard, or your job is tough, then you have never spent a full month taking care of a kid. A total emotional roller coaster. I'm up and down in a day multiple times. Raising a kid is hard work, and to all the parents who stay at home to raise wonderful kids, A BIG HUG. You are a trooper like no other and I have the utmost respect for you.
The thing is this
This is my life, its been filled with failure, tons of happiness and lots of success. What else can we can ask for in life? I'm a failure, im happy and im successful.