note: I’ve asked @HAWK; to close my old account to use this one, so that I can post this anonymously
I’d love to get some honest advice from you given the weird situation that I’m in.
I’m an entrepreneur that grew up building websites. Last year, when I was 20, I raised half a million dollars for my startup as the sole founder, and became a self-made millionaire overnight.
10 months later, today, I’m at a crossroads and have no idea how to live my life. I’m not trying to sell anything or deliver any kind of message - I’m just genuinely lost and need some unfiltered advice.
I spent my childhood living in the projects and never had any money. Got out, went to highschool, and turned the hobby of building websites into something that financially supported myself. I then started my current company, built it out, dropped out of University, and managed to convince a handful of angel investors to take a bet. The day after the money came into the bank, I went out and bought myself an expensive suit - the good life was about to start. Money seemed to solve everything.
The first few months after our financing was amazing. I hired some smart people, worked my butt off, and continued living my typical-20-year-old life. I would stay up late, party with friends, hit on girls, smoke weed, and eat out for every meal. At the same time, people twice my age would ask for advice while telling me how smart I am. I would walk into a store and get VIP service because the manager saw my story on the news. Life was a breeze, and I was going to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Well, not exactly.
My company has not reached the milestones that I had initially promised our investors. We haven’t executed well enough. We haven’t failed, but we haven’t succeeded either. Now we’ve ran out of money, and need to raise more.
2 months ago, I hired my Chief Operating Officer. He’s a smart guy who’s built a company worth 8-figures in the same industry, and has worked at large companies to handle hundreds of millions of dollars in growth. He’s the real deal.
Working with him, I started realizing that what I have been doing in business is almost a joke. It was like I was working on a school project all this time! This is the big leagues, and I’m not ready for this. I’m inexperienced, and I don’t work hard enough.
Yesterday, we spoke with two people who are interested in joining the company - both introduced by my investors. One was the vice president of one of the largest tech companies in the world (their product may be in your pocket right now). The other was the vice president of one of the largest companies in our industry.
Any one of these 3 people can run my company significantly better than I can. And maybe they should.
For the past little while, I’ve successfully gotten rid of my social life. I got off of facebook, stopped going to parties, and didn’t reply to texts that weren’t business related. I started smoking a lot more cigarettes and was grumpy all the time. Life sucks and I’m just not happy.
So now I don’t know what to do. I like going out with friends, playing video games, watching too many movies, and having careless fun. It’s what people my age do.
On one hand, I feel like I’m missing out on a part of my life that won’t be here again, while on the other hand, there’s an amazing opportunity to advance my career to where I’ve always dreamt of.
Do I grow up and take this opportunity to play in the big leagues, or do I step down to have better people run my company as CEO? What would you do?