Silicon Valley Dream: The Beauty and Agony of Working at A Startup

"A 'startup' is a company that is confused about - 
1. What it's product is,
2. Who it's customers are,
3. How to make money."
- Dave McClure

Living in the Bay Area, I have realized there are more startups on any given street than there are coffee shops and homeless people combined.  I'm sure a lot of this has to do with lots of really intelligent people living in the Bay, but I also believe, that some of it has to do with venture capitalists hoping they've stumbled upon the next big idea, in every idea they hear.

There is a beauty to manifesting your dreams and passions into reality, and it's really inspiring to watch an idea develop into a full functioning company that employees hundreds and thousands of people.  On the flip side, there are a lot of people who have no idea what they are doing, what they want or how to operate, and this ends of hijacking and hurting people's careers.  That, then becomes the beauty and agony of working for a startup.

Most people hear about the success stories; finding a great startup, working there for a few years, enjoying an IPO or an acquisition and then getting a $100K paycheck at the end of the journey.  It's an amazing concept, and an awesome reality if it's yours.  For a lot of others trying to accomplish The Silicon Valley Dream, this is not often the case.  Instead, the reality may look like: finding a startup that has mediocre management, forcing yourself to believe positive change will happen within an extended period of time, and potentially leaving or getting let go of before your IPO or acquisition happens because your work/life balance is suffering.

It's an uphill battle, and it's hard.  The question then becomes - how do you stay positive about what the future holds if your job is unstable?  This is such a difficult question to answer.

I have previously been in a position where my company has downsized, and I've lost my job.  Rebuilding yourself and your dreams without having all the motivation you could possibly need is difficult.  While processing a whirlwind of emotions, you have to re-identify your passion, and use that to move forward in some direction.  For me, I focused a lot of my attention of finding the thing that I was most passionate about, while applying to lots of tech jobs to keep the lights running, and it took more time than I had expected.

When I thought about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I really had to re-evaluate things.  I'm really good at developing work flows and and processes for Customer Success teams and departments, and I'm hit major milestones, but I also knew I needed something more.  When my mind was jumbled up in a knot at the end of the day, and it felt like a pile of mush, I needed to find something that I was passionate about; something that would teach me things I didn't previously know so I could spread some type of educational skills or knowledge to others.  My journey brought me to researching different methods of alternative wellness to promote a healthier lifestyle because I was also getting sick with kidney infections more often than not.

Overall finding an additional source of income, products that I am thoroughly infatuated and passionate about and, adding to my master plan of financial freedom have helped me significantly in the past year.  Like many people, I focus on my tech start up job from the hours of 8am to 5pm Monday - Friday, and after work I spend my free time educating and researching the benefits of essential oils so that I can spread them with my network.  My pure desire to share the benefits have lead to a small, but thriving essential oils opportunity that I can extremely excited for.

As time goes on, friends and family ask questions about how they can use essential oils because they are now genuinely interested in understanding the benefits and learning more.  Most importantly, they want to research the different options that are out there for themselves and their families.

In this competitive and cut-throat Silicon Valley, I have learned to find the balance between my work and my passion.  I have learned that I do not desire a small startup with a pending IPO or acquisition, while working 80 hours a week to get a one time paycheck of $100k at the end.  I would rather have a stable job with a solid company that has wonderful managers, while having the option of helping people understand and use essential oils. This is my plan, and it's been pretty awesome so far.   It's a plan is that will continuously offer me multiple sources of income, keep me happy and fulfilled, and help motivate me to keep working day in and day out.

When you have a back up plan, instability in your job feels less uncomfortable.  Instead, it makes you feel pretty good for thinking ahead and doing something you love.

With a happy heart,

(PS – When you’re going through and reading about all the essential oils, if you’re interested in learning more please visit my site.  You can purchase directly on the website, or you can reach out and ask me questions directly – I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned so far. If you’d like to do the research yourself, feel free to do so with the info provided below
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Published by Vaishali Rana

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