Breaking up is never easy, especially if it's your fault. On October 3, I quit my job at Google, and I want to take this time to come clean.
Google has been good to me. No, Google has been great, but still I have to go. I was one of those Wall Street wannabes, except for the fact that I actually made it. I was a wolf in training when I realized that banking sucks and no amount of money could make up for how miserable I was.
So I quit, moved west to California and started searching for another measure of success. Let me set the record straight: New York has nothing on the Bay Area. Why? The hustle.
Startups are like ideas out west: Everyone has one. Talk to any cofounder, and she'll swear she has the next billion-dollar idea: It's the Snapchat of music or Tinder of photos.
No matter what, it all comes back to Google. Google is the ultimate example of success, and it's been my playground for the last four years.
I would love to tell you that bidding adieu to banking at the exact moment "The Social Network" made Silicon Valley sexy was part of some master plan, but it wasn't. I'm not that smart, but I am a sponge. You don't work with the smartest people in the world and pick up nothing.
Here's what I've gathered from Google:
No one knows what he or she is looking for. It's one of the reasons why Google is so successful. We're all searching for something about ourselves, but no one has all the answers. We mess up, stress out and become less likely to try again. I blame school.
We’re taught there’s a right and wrong, and we apply that to the real world. Life is not a zero-sum game; there’s trial and triumph. You’ll win some and probably lose more, but the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.
I didn't know a world existed outside of Wall Street until I took a leap of faith and landed on my feet.
Results Will Vary
You will screw up and not have a clue as to what went wrong. Everyone around you will be waiting for your next act, and you will have no idea.
If you’re lucky enough to have some friends with sense, they will offer decent help, but it’s in vain. Remember, no one knows the answer. It’s incredibly freeing when you realize there’s no perfect path forward because the pressure comes off.
You’re able to experiment without expectation, and I'm not talking that weird feeling from Burning Man. Some ideas will never see the light of day. Many opportunities will come and go, never reaching the heights you had hoped.
Relationships will fade, deadlines pass and promises end up broken. It will hurt, and the disappointment might knock you down, but how else are you supposed figure out what’s right?
When I first moved to Cali, I worked for a few startups and each was worse than the last. But every misstep prepared me for what was ahead: Google. Fall down five times, get up six, and be quick about it. Fail fast and fail forward -- it’s the only way to learn.
I'm Feeling Lucky
The thing about luck is you make your own. That is why I’m leaving Google to build my blog full-time. Entrepreneurship is all about creating something worth having, and it’s on you to live a life you love.
You are the CEO of your life, and the decisions you make today will set the course of things to come. Do something today that will pay dividends down the road.
I read once that you should do one thing every day that scares you, and I’m not talking about swiping right. I confess that I can’t remember the last time I pushed past my limits.
Staying at Google means playing it safe, and we’re too young to settle. What I know now is that you’ll never reach your potential until you assume some level of risk.
It doesn’t have to be your job, but leave something behind. Starting today, stop settling for what’s good enough and make room for what’s great.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It