I haven’t tried enough

Esther, in general, is a pretty chill person powered by curiosity. But today, I’ve got to convince you why I can try harder.

Today, I plucked up my courage to ask for contract work from a founder friend, but then he told me their startup story that gives me lots of reflection.

“We were ready to pivot, because the business didn’t work well. However, when we were home this Christmas, I realized I really missed my family.

Why am I doing this? If I ended up being a software engineer in my hometown, my life will be…good anyway. What’s the point of me staying in San Francisco, stressed, working so hard for the company?

And then our founding team realized, if we’re already here to try this, we really need to f**king try or we might just go home. We have been trying really hard, but you know when people say they’ve tried everything, they haven’t. I mean an “honest try.”

“What’s an honest try?” I guessed.

“Try smarter and harder. For instance, last year our mindset was building something open-source, developer-friendly that people will use, but this year, we’re really trying to build a business.

We have a client that complained the data quota we gave isn’t enough when they are on their $25 plan. Last year, we would have fixed it for them and felt afraid that they would leave. But this year, our mindset changed. They are using so much data, and it’s all so expensive, and we don’t want to waste our money anymore.

We told them our enterprise plan is $1000, and they said, “What? That’s too expensive.” You know $25 to $1000 is a crazy big jump, and we wouldn’t have asked that last year, but now we said, go away then.

They ghosted us for a weekend, and we thought we might have lost them, and we just let their dashboard crash without fixing it. But two minutes after their dashboard crashed, they gave us their credit card. Boom! We just converted a contract from $25 to $1000! We are trying. We are not only engineers; we are f**king trying to build a business. Our revenue 4x growth after we changed our mindset.”

He blew my mind, and I realized I haven’t been trying hard enough with my career. Similarly, I never liked San Francisco; I’m just here to build my career. I tried a lot like him last year, but not as much as he does today. I’m still not confident enough to aggressively ask friends or people for jobs because I feel lost in my career. I try to build my passionate product, but I am not putting in enough effort to make money from it if I want to do it. I have lots of inner confidence to learn, but not lots of outer confidence to sell. Yet, I should have options. I should have money. I want to build my career like he does, a confident and bold business.

But! I still want to give credit to myself for the past two days. It felt super weird to talk to my friends and ask for a job because it feels strange. What will they think if they don’t find me good enough? But…

  • Yesterday: I directly talked to my founder friend and sent my resume (with some lucky help from God that he walked into the same cafe).
  • Today: I approached another founder friend and asked him for contract work (got rejected, but it was a good try!).

Esther’s roommate will treat Esther ice-cream because she said Esther is so brave by taking baby steps.

Soooo inspired! I want to really give that “honest try” like he does! Try like a motherfucker!