I mentioned a couple of months ago that I was leaving the world of private equity for the land of startups. It was a serious move. I was planning to leave stable employment, consistent income, lots of potential upside (carry), and an established career. But to be frank, it was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I never once questioned it or procrastinated. It was automatic; like tying shoelaces.
So now after a couple of months, now that the reality has set in, I’m here to report on the remaining lustre of the dream.
There’s no denying that life is challenging now. For starters, I’m working more hours in a week than I previously worked in a month. And for all this work, I now have no regular income. The work is much more difficult and varied too. I thought life in private equity was varied, but startup work is coal-face work; there’s no advising from afar. You design, implement, execute and improve, everything yourself.
With all of that said, I wouldn’t change it for the world. And that’s because it’s the ultimate challenge, a startup.
I’m now working in an office with a group of other enthusiastic entrepreneurs. And the air is electric. Everyone wants to be here. They’re giving their businesses everything. They’re passionate. They’re talkative. They have ups; they have downs. But they all keep moving forward at such amazing pace that it becomes self-propigating, creating a whirlwind of activity.
I learnt a lot from private equity and I enjoyed my time in what seems the perfect career. But startups are like cage fighting; they’re primeval and they reach to our roots. Maybe if I had the genetic composition, I’d have chosen cage fighting instead.