Apparently there’s been a great upsurge – well at least in the blogs that I read – about getting out and starting your own biz. And obviously I’m all for it. I mean duh. I’ve been ‘freelancing’ for several years now, my last job having ended at the start of this decade.
But you know, sometimes I have to admit, I have my reservations about reading all that advice. I mean, I know it’s all helpful and all, but honestly, and coming from someone who’s been there and gone through all that, if you really really really wanna get on your own biz, then you really don’t need anyone’s advice. To paraphrase a really overused slogan of a company I’m trying to court advertisement pesos from: You Just Do It. When the bug hits you, and you are consumed with wanting to bring to life your idea, then you don’t really have no choice, and there isn’t anyone out there to stop you or tell you otherwise anyway. You just go ahead and do it.
When I was employed, I had the typical issues anyone in the IT business had then. I was overworked, I didn’t like my superiors, and I was a little confused as to where I was going with it all. Money was, admittedly, not a problem. (And please, at this point, I won’t apologize nor want to feel apologetic for being completely honest about such things. So I was paid well, I’ll admit it, and that’s how it is. I’m not trying to brag or anything, I just want to be completely honest.) I also didn’t have any problems finding work. There were lots of people whom I could call to get a job.
In the end though, I was severely unfulfilled. Everyday I’d work hard at web related projects, none of which went through because of the ridiculous bureacracy and egos I had to deal with. None of which had, in the end, anything to do with what I was trying to do – and in fact was absolutely the opposite of how I felt the Internet worked.
See, on the Internet, everything is completely democratic. No one is forcing anyone, for example, to visit popular websites and services. Even using Google remains to be a complete option. You don’t have to use it, but you do, because it’s so darn good. And that’s where I felt success lay. You can try and coax people, host parties, spend millions on advertising campaigns, hire celebrities, dress to the nines and hold fancy cocktails, all to try and get people to visit you website, but if it doesn’t provide what people want, it’s gonna suck, and you’re gonna end up every peso poorer for spending so much.
On the other hand, even the smallest web entrepreneur working in his bedroom has a chance to do something special. He doesn’t have to spend anymore than, say, what he spends on DSL bills. If he gets a popular service up, then people are gonna take notice, pay attention and give it its due. If he does it well and consistently, pays attention to detail and innovates constantly, he’s gonna get somewhere. He doesn’t have to wear a tie. He doesn’t have to rub elbows with top brass. His name doesn’t have to end in Lopez or Sy or Romualdez or Araneta (which is, like, a big shift in thinking as far as Phil. business is concerned). If he can produce good copy, he’s got a shot. And he’s got as much a shot as Google, whom we all know now as to have started that way.
At any rate, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s get back to when I was working:
So at some point during my employed life, I realized I had to take stock. I already knew that, for better or for worse, I was thinking differently from anyone else, and that I couldn’t change how others, least of all how my superiors, did things. The idea of the Exchanges, amongst other many other ideas, was burning me up inside. Mind you, it’s not like I thought my ideas were going to become flat out successes. Rather, I just wanted to know if they’d work. To this very day, that is what makes me wake up excited in the mornings. I want to know if my ideas will work.
So I took off. And that was a bad move. In the list of things an entrepreneur needed, I lacked an important thing – appropriate capital, and I quickly had to shed my Makati boy ways which I had grown fond of.
to be continued..
This is part 1 of an attempt to write down me, my experiences and what I do (which are all part and parcel). It’s not at all easy to do this, so I’ll take it a step at a time.