Leaving the Room

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Two days ago I was walking back home after a team meeting. It was raining and, as it happens sometimes, I was thinking whether or not I should just abandon my crazy startup ideas and get a regular well-paying job.

I was struck by the fact that I am committed to my vision and the startup because seventeen years ago I stood up in front of sixty people and left the room.

It was the first day of my student life, the first day of college, the first day of class. The auditory was filled with nervous students and we all listened to the aged professor who talked in general terms about our future. Thirty minutes in to the speech I stood up and asked the professor, if that was the only topic we were going to talk about for the next two and a half hours. The professor admitted that we were not supposed to talk about anything in particular on the first day of school. Then I said that I had more important things to do and could not lose my time in that way. I picked up my backpack and left the auditory. In front of all sixty something students.

I have to give credit to the professor. He turned out to be an interesting man and we had many insightful discussions on medieval poetry and prose later on. That first day of school he was just doing what he was supposed to do: cater to his auditory. Right now I understand that Spanish students did not expect to learn anything on the first day of class.

Since then I followed my path. I worked for others and I created my own projects. Majority of them failed, some of them survived. All these years my motivation has remained the same, my venues have changed. I work to make people more powerful, to show them the chances that lay in front of them, to encourage them to make their lives better. Our latest project Ticketshuttle (the website will go live in March) is an expression of this vision.

I believe in what we do. Even so, twice a day, I think that I am just messing up with my life and I should get a good job and help within the system. I know am capable of it. I can follow the directions. I run my own company not because I cannot work for others. I do it because I am committed to the vision of a better society and I have the urgency to play my part in *making* it better. And because when I was seventeen years old I stood up in front of sixty people and was able to leave the room as it was boring and not productive to be sitting there.

Barcelona, January 23rd 2013

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One thought on “Leaving the Room

  1. So true.
    Choosing a regular 9 to 5 job would the most comfortable option, that is the main reason why most people chose to live that way. They are looking for the easier option because in their mind their job is just something that has to be done, like going to the dentist, so they try to make it as short and painless as possible.
    However, to an entrepreneur their job is not something they do, it’s who they are, it’s the way they live. I am convinced that the brain of an entrepreneur is wired differently than the rest of the people. Where other people see risks they see opportunities, where other people see uncertainty, they see purpose, where other people see failure, they see another step towards success.
    I was one of the sixty something students seating behind Masha that day and, even though I too was bored to death, I would have never had the courage to stand up and walk out like she did. All I could do was to think “What an interesting girl, I hope I get to meet her someday”.

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