A few years ago, I consulted with one of my mentors.
I said I’m miserable living in San Francisco, and I think the only thing keeping me here is the ridiculous opportunity that’s been bestowed upon me by fate – and that I think I should stay, but maximize what I’m getting out of my time here.
We discussed 2 options: getting into venture capitalism, and trying to make money by convincing people with money that I know how to best make a return on their wealth – or, actually building something. Obviously, in his mind actually building something and being able to personally shape the future was a lot more interesting than just trying to make a buck.
So we drilled into that.
At the time, I was leading a team of engineers – which seemed like a great opportunity to learn the leadership skills I’ll need to propel a company I’m building towards success. I tried to inquire in how I should take advantage.
While true that leadership is inevitable in an endeavor like building a company, I humbly heeded his wisdom: he said in fact, I should be doubling down on my engineering skills if I intend to truly build a technology company.
Today, knee deep in both leadership and code, his wisdom rings true.