So much has happened

Usually when I post, its because I have alot on my mind – which I do, but I also have a few exciting things to announce.

First off – I just got engaged. On January 24th, I popped the question and my now fiancee said yes.
Second – I have a new job. I’m going to be working for a startup – BookSwim.com as their lead technologist and soon CTO (Chief Technology Officer).
Third – As I am not engaged and have a new job thats in central jersey, I will be moving down to that area.

I’ve had so much on my mind – so much going on that needs to get taken care of. I need to rent my current house out. I need to find a new house, I need to put a down-payment on said house. I need to buy furniture for this new house. I need to learn a completely new set of applications where I’ll be working. I need to get back into “small business” mode. I will be moving farther from my mother who has just begun a long-road to recovering from severe alcoholism. My lease is up so I need to get a new car. I have many loose-ends that need to get tied up at work. I just took on a new contract for a website as I need the money…

Through all of this – I’m trying to stay sane, keep in touch with friends, and most painful of all – deal with my manic depression… Its hard to tell if I’m drained because I’m stressed or if I’m in a down-cycle, or what. Lately I’ve been pretty bad about keeping a schedule (for the stuff going on as well as my health), but I have been making lists that have helped me keep track of whats going on.

Through all of this – I’m trying to remain “Nick.” The rock that everyone can lean on. with the exception of having to get a new car – all of the decisions that I have and will be making in the next few months will truly shape the rest of my life. There are major downside risks. If I make a rash decision with a house I could get in over my head, buy a house that requires tons of fixer up money, or get something that ends up too small forcing Melissa and I to feel cramped and putting pressure on our relationship… As for getting engaged – I’m extremely excited and happy about it, but as you see, its a life-altering choice and a decision I hope to never have to make again. With my job – I’m working for a startup – inherently a risky thing. They have great potential and the role that they are asking me to play will truly be a challenge.

Many years ago when I was first getting press for being a young web developer, I was offered a position to be one of the first developers for Monster.com. At the time, I felt like I made the right decision by saying that the job was EXTREMELY over my head and that I would not be able to do the job. It was probably for the best that I did that – as it caused me to learn the greatest lesson about technology. That lesson is that one cannot possibly know everything, especially with technology. And, the best way to accept a challenge is by being eager and excited and learning everything you need to know to get the job done. Ever since, I’ve sworn never to let people dissuade me because something might be hard, and NEVER to say no to an opportunity if I have the ability to learn what it is I need to get the job done.

That leads me to where I am now. I’m at a great junction where I will be diving right in and using all my prior knowledge as well as new knowledge I’ll be gaining along the way to help improve and grow this company. The truly have the potential to grow. If we went public 3 years down the road, I wouldn’t be shocked at all. But, alot of this is resting on my shoulders. The two owners seem like extremely intelligent and competent people – which is a huge sigh of relief for me (i’ve had a bad history of working for people who are neither intelligent or competent). That being said, I bring quite a bit of start-up experience, business plan writing, and technology experience to the table. Without me, the company has a good chance of surviving and doing great, but with my help, I believe that the chance will be drastically higher. That being said – I need to truly perform and step up to the plate to be able to accomplish that goal. I’ve had many people stand in my path who have been trying to hold me down. At ML I’ve had quite a few people who have called me “immature” and “over-zealous” and that I’m just “junior.” On the flip-side, I’ve had managers and other co-workers who have nothing but positive things to say and are shocked that I’ve been stuck at the level I was at…

I know that I have limitations and a great deal that I DON’T know, but there is one thing I do know. That is that I can learn and adapt for any challenge. I won’t ever claim to know everything or have every answer – but if you give me enough time, I’ll find an answer for any question you throw my way.

And I sit here so unsettled. I honestly think I’m afraid. I’ve never really been afraid like this before, but despite the fact that everything going on in my life is going well, I know that I truly have to perform for it to stay that way. When I was starting highschool, I had plans for myself. I set myself very aggressive goals and worked towards them. When I started working at ML I saw my goals go out the window. As beauracracy and BS politics kept me from growing and being who I wanted to be, I saw myself settling into responsibility. With the responsibility of having a house, I saw my chances of creating a new venture slipping away. I was hoping in college to meet a business partner, yet it seems i’ve met quite a few people but none that I’d really start something with…

Now, I have the chance to be part of something at the ground level. From practically day one, I can get in and have actual partners (well, bosses…) And its thrilling.

but ultimately the next few years are going to be filled with alot of work. Living with Melissa is going to be a fun and exciting adventure, but it will be a learning experience and will come with its own problems. Preparing for a wedding is going to be challenging as well. Dealing with the growth of a startup will also be trying – as that’s often a 60-80 hour a week job.

Sometimes I wish the easy button from Staples actually worked. That you could just hit it and have everything done for you. That isn’t true. I guess I’m just scared because there is so much work to be done and I’m doubtful of my own abilities. I look at my past failures and assume that it was my fault. As a way to try to humble myself, I take a look at every mistake and make it my fault and do my best to learn from it. And, for every success, I claim it to hard work and luck. Because for the most part, thats what all success is – hard work and luck. So much is our of your control.

Well – I know this was just a rambled mess, but I wanted to just write. I was hoping to learn something new, but I don’t really think I did. For now, I sleep

-Nick

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