Entrepreneurship, Start-Ups

My Entrepreneurship History

In the spirit of switching my blog over to new content, I suppose I should with begin with explaining why I’m so interested in entrepreneurship and finance.

It was only a few years ago when I was introduced to the idea that I could create my own career. As a good student, I grew up under the assumption that I would get good grades, get a good job, and climb the company ladder. The only problem? I didn’t want to do it at all.

The First Idea

During my second year of undergrad, I was studying chemical engineering. I knew I didn’t want to be an engineer, but I was getting my degree so I could go to law school. I told myself I’d change my major if I could come up with a better idea. I never did.

One day, for my Thermodynamics II class, we had to go to an oil and energy event. It was a panel with a few speakers from the oil industry talking about their careers. Since it was mandatory, I went alone, sat in the very back, and didn’t speak to anyone. I didn’t want to be there, I had lost my entire evening on this event that I wasn’t even interested in.

Event, Auditorium, Conference, International Conference

While they we talking, it became crystal clear: I didn’t want to do this. The audience seemed engaged with these speakers, enamored by the way these three were changing the world. I saw them as what they were: people who were overworked. In a fit of frustration, I turned the page in the notebook I was taking notes in and drew a line right down the middle. On the left side, I made a list of the classes I had taken that I enjoyed and on the right, I made a list of my hobbies.

Desperate, I stared at the words I had scribbled down and tried to connect the dots. I was so focused on coming up with an idea of how to escape the rat race. I felt certain it was the only way out of the reality I had set up for myself. After thinking and thinking, I came up with my first idea.

It was a foreign language learning program. I’ll spare you the details, but it had me firing on all cylinders. Alongside my chemical engineering, I studied international studies. I was passionate about different cultures and languages. As an engineer, I loved algorithms. Putting the two together made sense. For months, I carried around a separate notebook where I planned out the idea.

Meeting the Sharks (and the Bait)

Having my idea just felt like a little secret that I was carrying around. I fantasized about the code on the backend and sketched logos in my spare time. I became obsessed.

A few months later, a friend that I had told my idea to came up to me with a strange proposition. She was working for an economics professor and they were doing a shark tank event for start-ups to get funding from investors in the city. She asked if I wanted to help out. Of course, I agreed.

As a volunteer at this event, I was in the room with the sharks timing people as they pitched. I heard bad pitches about good businesses and good pitches about bad businesses. I watched the sharks tear some people apart and some praise and give offers. I have never learned so much in an afternoon. I was caught under the spell of entrepreneurship. I wanted to learn everything I could.

Work, Office, Team, Company, Internet, Business

Inserting Myself in Places I Didn’t Belong

After the shark tank event, I felt my passion in my bones. I didn’t have money (or the ability to code a website), so all I could do was make lessons for the foreign language program. I kept working, but I knew something would have to change to get it off the ground. I got my opportunity, but not exactly in the way I had imagined.

Over the holidays, I went home to visit some old friends. While catching up, one of my friends mentioned a mutual friend of ours who had a start-up. Something about a phone app. Something about social media. Amidst my slightly tipsy evening, I focused all my energy in getting more information about the status of his company.

I called him the next day and asked him if I could help out. He immediately said yes. All of a sudden, I had a start-up I could be a part of. He told me that if I helped him with his idea, he’d help me with mine. And just like that, I was in business.

Paper, Business, Finance, Document, Office, Analysis

This was during the final semester of my senior year. My law school applications had already been sent in – school didn’t matter now. I shifted all of my energy to launching his app. The app had already been made, so it was all-hands-on-deck to get this thing to the public. I met with local bars, came up with a crazy marketing strategy, brought a few friends with a few targeted skills to help, and things were looking great. My house had become the unofficial HQ. Some days, I was working more than eight hours.

With the help of the team I had put together, we had opportunities networking with some pretty serious and established people. I was getting to know that economics professor who did the shark tank events (I brought on the friend who worked for him). We found ourselves building a reputation as people who had marketing intuition.

However, the longer I worked on this business, the more I started to realize that something wasn’t right. There were investors behind the scenes. Every time I asked about them, I didn’t get much information. A few months later, I discovered that they owned most of the company and had some strong opinions about things.

Without getting into it all, I had to leave the business. I was able to spare my relationships with my friends, but I walked away with such a gift. I now had actual experience working on a start-up.

Weaseling My Way In Further

I landed a job with the economics professor, largely due in part to my friend. I had two roles with him: to plan events on campus with investors and to consult start-ups that he had invested in at his firm.

Office, Business, Colleagues, Meeting, Computers

I won’t get into the details since these are real companies and real investors. But I was able to now see the other side of the business: what a start-up looks like to an investor. I only worked with him for a few months – law school had just begun and I was crumbling under the workload. However, these positions indicated that there was a spot for me in this community if I wanted it.

My Path Forward

If you’ve been here since the early days of my blog, you know what happened next. I started this blog. I wanted something I could call my own and wasn’t intertwined with personal relationships. Something where I had all of the control.

Now here we are.

I’m excited for this journey forward. I look forward to writing about entrepreneurship and finance and learning more myself. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for being a part of that experience.

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Motivation, Productivity

What’s Next for This Blog

Hello! I know it’s been a little while, but I’m back! I’ve taken my time returning because I was processing changes that were happening around me. I’ve written this post several times over. But I’m okay and so is everyone around me. Let’s talk.

Reflection

Over the past month, I’ve been thinking. Like really deeply thinking about my happiness and my future goals. A reflection period I’ve put off for so long – thinking that one day my plans would just fall right in to place. I suppose in some way that was right since I fell into this growing period seemingly unprovoked.

It was then that I realized that a lot of the projects that I had created on this blog gave me short-term happiness. I was happy to do these things because I had a work product to share, but quickly realized it didn’t progress me anywhere besides acquiring a new skill.

In my self-induced hibernation, I realized what this blog has actually meant for me. I realized that these projects I was doing were setting me up for my next big thing. I was learning valuable skills like how to create a website, how to write, and how to schedule my day to be most productive.

As someone who is extremely career-oriented, I realized that while these projects weren’t wasting my time – I was learning new skills and gaining confidence in myself – but they were a huge opportunity cost. If I spent time working on my future career(s), I could have put myself a little farther.

While you all know me as a law student and aspiring lawyer, that’s not entirely who I am. I’m not actually sure I want to be a lawyer. I’ve put myself on this path to become a lawyer since I was a kid, not actually thinking about what that meant. I don’t really see myself as a 9-5 kind of person. Not that I don’t respect 9-5 jobs or think less of them, I just think I want to own my own business and accrue my own wealth. The problem I’ve always had is what business?

I realize that my primary interest is learning how to be self-sufficient. To me, self-sufficiency is owning my own business, growing wealth, and chasing actual goals. I hop from idea to idea because I am naturally curious and value consistent self-improvement.

This has been growing in me for years. I’ve mentioned before that I have a background in start-ups. I started this blog with the idea of trying many projects. I chase a career in patents and gravitate towards those who innovate. All the puzzle pieces were there, I just wasn’t able to connect them until now. This is what lights my fire: innovation and creation.

What’s Next

So, where does that leave this blog? I mulled it over for a while because I didn’t want to rush into something I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) maintain. But this blog has been a strong source of accountability and motivation for me. I share ideas and thoughts on here that only those in my innermost circles know. I like that.

I have decided to pivot this blog to follow my hustles and side-hustles. I want to show the ups and downs of me learning to be self-sufficient. My ultimate career goal is passive income from multiple income streams. I want to learn about options that don’t involve a cubicle or eight hours of my day, and I want to learn together.

I’m not talking about writing about motivation and creating “hustle porn.” You’re not going to see cheesy inspirational quotes or anything. I want to focus on the realities of exploring and experiencing these ventures. Motivation is irrelevant if you don’t capitalize on it. I want to talk about where this journey actually takes me: through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I also want to continue projects that acquire skills. These can be used in later business moves. It’s always relevant to learn something new. I have a Slumdog Millionaire kind of perspective on things: everything always comes back to help you in some way. However, some of the projects I’ve begun on this blog will probably be paused until later notice. They may come back in the future, but not until I get a few other things going.

Expect to see some changes in this site over the next few days. I’ll be shifting into its next phase. I know that this isn’t necessarily the content that you came for, but if you’ve made it this far – thank you. No hard feelings if this isn’t for you and you don’t want to read this new content. I know it’s kind of a 180. But thanks for the support to get me here.

We’ll talk again soon.

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