Stepping into entrepreneurship

“Peeked at the watch, 30 minutes has already gone by so I just left.” ~Causalien on what he did after he got stood up


My experience with cold calls shielded me from getting really down because of a failure. I am actually happy that I didn’t feel anything at all throughout all these events that’s supposed to put my ego on the line. Or perhaps I am still numb from the setbacks. Suffice to say that I didn’t feel anything when the possibility of being stood up becomes greater as time goes by. It further strengthened my belief that in the world of venture capitalist and angel investors a “yes” means a no and a “no” means a no while a “definitely yes” still means no. It’s never a yes until what both party agreed on is physically in front of you and you are holding it in your hand.

The facts

I met Surjit at the mall while typing on my Asus eeePC laptop while waiting for my mechanic to change car’s rear wheel mechanisms ($590). He seems generally interested in my small and ultra portable laptop so we chatted. He turns out to be one of my big boss’s classmate in Engineering. With that, we talked even more and the conversation veered into starting my own company and some of the ideas I have. By then, his wife came by having finished with her medical exams and they got ready to leave. So, not wanting to miss any opportunity, I asked for his card. I knew that he was probably just passing time, getting some ego boosts while waiting, but the final comment he dropped encouraged me to go to the next steps. He said: “Call me.”

“What the fuck am I doing? What if I sound stupid? What if he thinks I am stupid? What if my friends find out of this shameful moment? Am I annoying if I call him now? Why would he want to talk to a nobody like me? What am I going to talk about? My ideas are not fully developed yet. What if he laughs at my naive idea? What if he rejects me and tells me I am worthless? What if I start stuttering again? Am I going to say something that makes me sound stupid? Will my mind be blank when I need ideas?” ~Causalien

Two days later, I called and setup a lunch between us at an expensive restaurant across the street. I also promised that I would call him the morning of, to confirm the meeting. Which is why, today I got suspicious when I couldn’t reach him on his cell phone in the morning and get his voice message when I attempt to call his home. The facts are there. Everything seemed so positive until today I even excused myself out of an important in house training to meet him just so that I can tell myself that I’ve done all I can. I waited and waited, indifferent of the prime computation my subconscious spewed out from all the facts. I don’t care either way. This is just another step to get through, I will learn from it no matter what the outcome is.

What I benefited from this

I noticed that I have more confidence in calling up strangers now, a side effect of my current job. It is also better than having things bite me in the behind when it doesn’t go according to plan. At least for this, I only wasted 30 minutes.

The second thing I noticed is that I should trust my gut feeling more. Right away I have this feeling that something is not right. Looking deeper, I noticed it’s because that everything I ever earned up till this point in my life, I had to fight long and hard for it. This is simply too easy.

The third benefit is that I get to sit down and look at my long list of ideas accumulated since year 2000 and filtered through them. Some of them are already in place and some are just outright ridiculous. I managed to narrow it down to 8 ideas in the end. Four that are more mature and four that are wild and unknown. I also took some time to evaluate how their financial modal should be and marked out their potential competitors and niches. And finally, some time to practice pitching it to people.

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