Came across this article on medium and its hilarious
"I've seen Mean Girls and I worked with some mean girls"
I quit my I-banking job to start a business
Starting a business from scratch is scary as fuck. Period. You're essentially taking all of your safety and security and throwing it away for an indeterminate amount of time while you spin your wheels, trying desperately to make something out of nothing. While this can seem devastating and reckless, its also what makes the startup world so exciting and intriguing to a corporate drone.
A couple of weeks ago, I quit my investment banking job in order to pursue a venture I had been working on in my spare time for quite a while. My family and friends have been supportive but it hasn't been unobvious that a part of them questions why anyone would leave a prestigious, high-paying job for an endeavor so uncertain. I fully understand their questions. As a banker, I would ask similar questions and have similar reservations when I would hear about others who had made a similar move.
The simplest reason for my departure from "high fin-nance" (I say this as sarcastically as humanely possible) -- is that I am unequivocally devoted, 1,000,000% convinced, and unquestionably motivated about my venture GRAB. I'm more than excited to deliver value to my customers while helping the planet one coffee at a time.
In writing this, I just wanted to share a little bit about my experience, what got me here, and outline the other reasons why someone in my position would make the same decision I did. The startup life isn't for everyone but I think most who know me would agree that someone with my attention span shouldn't be spending their days bullshitting growth rates in.
I spent about two years in banking and I'm at a complete loss in trying to sum it up. In fact, this is really pissing me off because of how many sleepless nights and stressful mornings I had in that time. Banking was an incredible learning experience, which is good because I did so much fucking work in that two-year period.
Banking itself is actually an incredible pile of horseshit. Its filled with unnecessary stress, politics, and lack of sleep in the pursuit of seemingly useless exercises. You spend 80% of your time on fluff presentations helping senior people sound smarter than they are -- in other words -- preparing them to deceive their clients.
With that being said, I wouldn't have traded my time in banking for the world. The firm that I was at opened my eyes to the consumer sector, one that I've subsequently fallen in love with. It gave me the insight and perspective to dissect businesses and business problems. All of those stressful days gave me the confidence to approach high pressure tasks with vigor and determination. I developed real industry knowledge in a dynamic and fast paced environment.
Those two years taught me more about myself than anything else. I learned a lot about my perspective, my philosophy to career and life, and I built an image around what it was that I wanted to attain on my journey.
What I loved most about those two years was how intense they were. When you're consistently putting in eighty to a hundred hours a week at your job, you become a lot less sensitive and more intolerant to bullshit excuses around you. When you hear people complaining about being tired or busy, you truly know how many hours there are in a week and how it feels to sleep four hours a night, still see your friends, and do all of your other errands. Banking helped prove to me how incredibly much you can do in just one day and how rewarding it is to push yourself to find maximalist and not reductive solutions to both work and personal problems.
What I hated most about banking and my experience was the ugly side of corporate politics that it exposed. I can't speak for all I-Bankers, but my team was incredibly political -- I've seen Mean Girls and I can say that I worked with some mean girls. In all seriousness though, I was beyond horrified at how much time and energy was spent on divisive office politics which sought to tear down different factions of my 16-person team. Before banking, my first boss ever brought me into a meeting on my first day and said "the enemy doesn't exist in these walls, everyone in here is here to help us compete and do better for ourselves and our families.". This lesson stuck with me as I remember not understanding its relevance until I was confronted with all of that ugliness in banking. My team's divisiveness slowly wore away at my spirit. It never felt like we were all truly working together for a bigger purpose. It felt like everyone was simply tearing each other down for attention from the big man, for a fast-tracked promotion, or a bigger bonus. I couldn't help but wonder how cancerous politics was on our team and how counterproductive it was in building a real franchise that helped our clients tackle real world problems.
After about a year and a half of this crap, I started to realize I wanted something more fulfilling. I wanted to feel like I was doing good for others and for myself. More than anything, I wanted to feel as though all of those hours I was devoting were going towards enriching the world around me. That's when I really starting thinking about doing something impactful. Initially, I thought about private equity andas potential avenues. However, I was almost immediately disinterested in private equity due to its striking resemblance to investment banking, especially the resemblances of its practitioners to my banking colleagues. VC was quite intriguing and remains that way. My biggest reservation with going the VC route was that I wanted to continue my learning by getting more hands-on experience in all things business operations. VC seemed to me like something to do after or on the side, once I had real world lessons and experiences to draw on.
After toying and testing and criticizing GRAB as an idea for nearly five months, I couldn't come up with any compelling enough reasons why this couldn't become a wildly successful business. I was in, 100%. Unlike the dozens of other venture ideas I had explored since my freshman year in college, this one had teeth.
Unfortunately, I arrived at this conclusion while I was in the midst of private equity and VC recruiting. In fact, I was pretty far along with some cool firms at the time. But it wasn't right. I wanted to do something I knew I would be completely excited for. I viewed this decision as the opposite one that got me into banking but for the same reasons that drove me to become a banker. I left to learn. I left to feel fulfilled. And I left to make a difference.
So, I kept my head down for a couple of months and I worked on my venture. I worked with my incredible co-founder and we solved every nit we could think of. As time passed, it became more and more obvious that it was only a matter of time before my venture became my full time. So just like that, I took a two week vacation, secured an angel investment, and fucking quit.