June 13, 2020

My entrepreneurial journey is at a bit of a crossroads.

Over the past 13 months, Sankalp and I have built an online business (a Shopify app) that is doing well. It’s doing incredibly well, way better than we had ever anticipated.

I remember when we had started, our hopes and dreams were to get to ramen profitability as a bare minimum outcome, which worked out to be $1500/mo. And our stretch goal, a goal that we would be elated to achieve, was $3000/mo by end of 2019.

We ended 2019 much higher than our goal. We learnt so much in our journey, that I regret not writing about it while it happened (hence I'm here writing today).

But we also learnt a lot about our first business that made us believe that this is not something we can and want to do in the long-term.

I remember the day we quit our jobs in pursuit of freedom.

“We could do anything we want.”

At the same time, we are afraid to start something new from scratch.

Even though we would be working on something that scratches our own itch, that we would ourselves use, the very idea of it excites us. We’re afraid because we would be starting from 0. It would be incredibly hard to go from 0 to something.

“What if we fail?”

"What if this was the best thing we could ever do?"

"What if <insert all our insecurities>?"

In the long-term, we “want” to build a business that

  • Serves an audience like ours, who we understand and empathise with
  • Solves our own itch, such that we ourselves would be users of our product
  • We can work on for the next 5-10-15 years of our lives, i.e. long-term

I’ve written pro/con lists to weigh between the two choices. I’ve discussed with my co-founder and trusted friends on what we should do next. I KNOW the pros and cons of continuing with the current business or starting a new one by heart. But I still hadn't arrived at an answer.

Until this morning, my friend Sandesh said:

“Forget all that, what does your gut say?”

My gut answered without hesitation.

My gut says, we have the freedom to start something new from scratch.

My gut says, we should give up on any short term money making potential and instead work on what would fulfil us in the long term.

To quote Pat Walls, “I'm scared of becoming that founder who's (years later) depressed, and slogging away at a business that he/she never intended to build.”

My gut says, we go forward.

We got to have more optimism about what we can do in the future than what we did in the past.

Everything will be alright.

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