Working for Someone vs. Working for Youself

“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

This week, i had the opportunity to work at Telenav on contract basis as a QA Analyst testing their Android App for bugs and french translation mistakes. The usualy hours are from 10am to 7pm. One thing i’ve learned after working on this; its hard to work both a full time job and do a startup!

Here’s an analogy to compare the two. Working for someone else is like riding a bicycle with training wheels and getting a pushing hand while working for youself, you’re just riding the bycle by yourself. A single speed bike. On both scenario, you are riding the same path with uphills and downhills. For those of you who are not into the biking scene, a single speed is very inefficient at climbing uphills…cuz you cant shift gears!!

Now as you ride the uphill part of the ride, when you work for someone else, you get a pushing hand to make it easier. It still is hard but you have balance from the training wheels, a speed boost, and riding amongst other riders. Such in a real life job, you get job training, support, peer collaboration, benefits and the mentality that comes with working a stable job. Reassurance, safety, belonging to a group/organization with a higher purpose, coworker support etc… And of course, the feeling that damn, ill get a paycheck at the end of the week! That mentality state of mind is something that is barely there when you do a startup. Its kind of comforting to experience it again. 

When one does a startup, it feels like its always an uphill ride with very few straights or downhill. As you all know, the best way to tackle a long uphill ride for non-pros is to ride in a zig-zag fashion. Its more energy consuming but makes ride up much easier. The only downside, you take longer going up. Now imagine doing that with a single speed where you cant shift gear and carrying a heavy backpack. Thats what it feels like doing a start up. You get stressed out, burned out, exhausted, thirsty, lonely and often ask yourself “What did i get myself into?” or “What the hell am i doing?” Yup, you’re a lone rider. 

Doing both at the same time is pratically riding an unicycle. Almost impossible to climb up and more likely to fall back down. Almost impossible. The few who can, you guys are amazing. 

As much enticing it was working for someone else…actually its very tempting. You go to work with a direction, knowing what to do, what needs to be done or if you dont; you can ask! But i still wouldnt give up on the dream yet. Creating something you love and watch others use it is something you cant get working for someone else. Yes you make something too but the feeling isnt the same. Its more personal when you do it yourself. Its something you can be proud of and realized you-did-it. That feeling is worth all the sacrifice and pain in the end. People live their life however they want but its takes more to differentialte yourself from the pack. So ride that uphill battle with whatever means you have. Dont give up. Riding an uphill path is all about mentality. Psych yourself to make it up that hill or surround yourselves with friends/family that will shout it “You can make it! Just a little bit more!” (Thats usually how i am able to ride the uphill parts on the bike rides we go with my family)

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. I say plant some fake grass on your side! They’ll never wilt away… 

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