April 18, 2016

Have your read this article before? – “How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked up my life”

Have your read this article before? – “How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked up my life”


A few weeks ago, my brother shared this article on our family Wassap from Techinasia.com that reads “How quitting my corporate job for my startup dream f*cked up my life”, this article was published in 2014. And in 2015, Techinasia.com published another article that reads, “Please do not start your own start up”.


Now, among my siblings, I’m the only one who’s doing my own business. My brother once said to me ‘I don’t want to do business because I’ve seen the way you struggle’. So instead of inspiring him, I kind of scared him I guess. Well, maybe someday he’ll change his mind. But then, he really got to see the real ‘action’ in setting up and running a business. And the truth is – Business is not easy… And this applies to any offline or even online businesses too.


So honestly, I do understand what the writer is trying to say. I’ve gone through similar things myself and I’m still building my IM business right now. And you’re not really going to understand the ‘pain’ until you’ve actually been in that situation yourself. Perhaps, the experience has really left the writer bitter till this day because it sure sounds like it from his ‘tone’. However, if you’re serious about having that successful business, that life you dream of, then you shouldn’t let stuff like this dither you from your dream. Here are my personal thoughts on some of the things he pointed out.


1. Are you ready for the social pressure

I remembered that I had a tough time in school. Teenagers being teenagers, I had a group of good friends who let’s just say cast me away one day. And I wanted to be accepted in so much that I did so many things to fit in. It took me awhile to realize that not everybody is going to love me. And not everyone is going to be there to help me anyways, so why do I bother so much?


So keep in mind, in anything you do, business especially, not everyone is going to agree with you, love you or support you. You can’t let what people say affect you. It’s just something that you’re just going to have to deal with.


2. Support from family & partner

When I first started my business at the age 20, I had everyone against me. Nobody else was doing business in my family, both of my parents worked for the government until they retired. But I knew they were just concern, they wanted me to have a good job, a good life, so I get it. I didn’t say much to them because explaining wouldn’t really help, but I kept this determination inside that someday I will prove to them – I will succeed. But obviously, it’s going to take a while to achieve this.


Now, if you’re family and your partner aren’t supportive, then you will really need a strong will power. I’d have to say that I’m quite lucky that my husband is also doing his own business, in a way we both can relate to the business stress. But still, your partner wouldn’t really understand everything that you’re doing in your business.


At one time, my husband said like he wouldn’t want to be in my shoes because he feels that what I’m doing is too hard, it’s stressful etc and I’d feel the same about the business he’s in. So I guess this is just another thing that you really have to deal with as well.


3. Having enough cash to sustain

Although it’s a great thing that both my husband and me are doing our own business, financially however, it could be very difficult. You see, both our income tends to fluctuate. And there is more than one occasion when this puts us in a stressful situation. So yes, if want to start a business – set aside some cash.


Look, a business is a business – Online or Offline. And you really got to treat it that way. Personally, I find it very useful to have a business plan where you note down details like the working capital and expenses required and stuff like that. Keep in mind, that you’re probably not going to see any profit in the first few months, instead you’ll be spending money to grow your business.


And the writer is right when he said “Success will come slowly, and cash will burn fast. Be smart – plan from day one”.


4. Are you ready to sleep only few hours a day?

You know, I like to read stories about other successful people. And honestly, I’ve never heard one person that said that they had enough sleep when they first started out. I’ve heard about people falling sick though. Myself personally, I get around 4-5 hours of sleep on average daily. My closest friends know this because sometimes I’ll send them like a Wassap message at 4am. Not having enough sleep is not great, but these are some of the sacrifices that you’ll probably have to make, atleast when you’re still starting out.


5. How do you define success

In general, lots of people measure success by having lots of money to show for. But there is more than one way to measure your success – For some, having a business means more time for the family or could be getting to do what they love.


My brother asked me once “If you were offered 2 jobs, one with a high salary but you don’t like the work, and the 2nd with a lower salary but you love the job, which one would you choose”. I didn’t have to think about it – I said I’d take the job I love because to me, my happiness – doing the thing I love is worth more than money.


Now, each of us is different and we strive for different things in life, and that’s fine.


But to summarize this topic, basically, what I’m trying to say is that yes business is tough, so you got to be tougher. Although it’s tough, I still enjoy the many perks of having a business and I feel it’s really worth all the efforts and struggles.


If you have anything you’d like to share on this topic, feel free to leave your comment. I’d love to hear from you!


Lina Ali

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