What Am I Doing?
I've been squatting on a few half-finished posts (boo!) and have been busy on a few things, but I really wanted to share something I found important from last week. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, stopped on campus at an incredible event put on by Ohio State Business Builders Club and Fundable. Props to them for an excellent time and all of the insights that they helped bring to the stage.
Alexis' message was pretty simple:
Go do the things you want to do as best as you can. Don't worry about failing. Start NOW.
I think everyone left the auditorium with some sense of empowerment, some feeling of "what's the worst that can happen?".
For me, the highlight was when Alexis had Jason Ross, founder of JackThreads and an Ohio State alumnus, join him on stage for a fire-side chat. One of the first things that they discussed was a feeling we've all had at some point.
It went kind of like this (didn't record it):
Alexis: So Jason, I have to ask. Was there every a time when you were like, 'Wow, I have no idea what I am doing here'?
Jason: I still have no idea what the fuck I'm doing.
The crowd chuckled and Alexis agreed because it's true yet no one acknowledges it. I think it drove home the answer to a question a lot of people have on their mind.
How do I know I'm doing "it" right?
The short answer is, you don't. You'll never be able to outrun that feeling, but past experiences, education, and some good judgement can help guide the decisions you need to make.
JackThreads was acquired by Thrillist for around $10 million in cash/stock and Jason still heads the company as CEO, so he's definitely someone to look up to in the business & start up world. His acknowledgment of that feeling shows that he's very in tune with reality and isn't afraid to admit what successful people seem to hide.
That's definitely reassuring for us toward the bottom of the totem pole.
Recently I've been putting myself in new situations (and I hope you have too!) where I get this feeling. As these new situations arise, I remind myself to use my best judgement now and start building the experiences that will help inform similar decisions down the road.
I'd say that's a recipe for long term improvement.
Note: If you're in Columbus, definitely check out OSU Business Builders Club. Entrepreneur or not, what you will learn applies to all facets of life and career. Plus you can meet some amazing people. I just joined in January and can say without a doubt, it was one of the best decisions of my college career.