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
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.
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.
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.
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