Sometimes I wonder, “Oh crap, am I doing the right thing?”
I grew up around a lot of people who have dope jobs but hate it. They have to leave all their decisions to higher-ups, and they always talk about wanting the freedom to call the shots themselves. I didn’t want to end up unhappy with work like them.
That’s why I made a decision in sophomore year that I wanted to build a start-up after I graduated — and I stuck to that decision. I was interested in education and supporting my community, so I began developing Graam my senior year.
But everything up until my launch date was pretty bad.
A lot of advice I was given about entrepreneurship was out of date. I was told to go door-to-door and make cold calls to sell my idea, so that’s what I did. I sat in my apartment all day, ringing up photographers and artists out of the blue and asked if they wanted to contribute to my site. They got mad and told me never to call again.
It was lonely, and I had no idea what I was doing next. And there was the pressure of being financially independent coming out of college and needing to make money while your friends are getting jobs and moving forward with their life.
I always went back to asking myself, should I get a job? Was I missing out on other things? But you’re running experiments, right? Not everything you do will work.
It was really hard, but when people tell me to keep it up and they really like my product, that reassures me to keep going.
Now I realize, I’d rather do this than anything else. It wasn’t easy – actually, it was hard as hell. But then I’m like, what else would I be doing?