Photo by trikeratops
The door bell rang.
“Strange, why would the mailman ring my doorbell?”
He handed me a letter that I had to sign for. Instantly, I knew the contents of the letter. My Mom became just another victim of the economic recession…
At times I feel like I’m cheating. I see peers like Monica O’Brien who talk about how Gen Y shouldn’t be living at home with their parents. After all, I’m a grown man – but the problem is that running an internet startup produces very little cash flow. Sure we make enough to survive, but everything we do make gets put back into the company so that we can get to our next milestone.
When I look at myself in the mirror, I see an incomplete man. I should be the provider; I should be able to lavish my girlfriend with gifts. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my startup and the people that I work with. What gets to me is when I see peers that are working a full-time job to support themselves and working extra hard at night to further their startup company. That’s hustle. That’s dedication. That’s heart.
… My parents are divorced; we cannot rely on the financial support of a father.
“Don’t worry Mom. I’ll take care of everything.”
As the eldest, I am now responsible for taking care of the family. I spent the next week looking for a position in social media.
I dreaded the thought of going back to the cubicle – I hate being told what to do. I hate working for a man (or woman) who I cannot learn from or look up to. That’s why I left my corporate job in the first place. I’m an entrepreneur at heart; how in the world would I survive going back to the corporate world and having to pay my dues?
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what’s best for your loved ones.
“My third interview in just 1 week. Man I hope this guy is more impressive than the other two.”
I walked in expecting the worst, and walked out with an offer I just couldn’t refuse: He offered me the position of President (or equivalent) of SocialMediaMarketing.com. To be honest, this is every internet entrepreneurs dream. I would be paid to build a company from scratch and have resources available to me that only a large firm could afford. Though the position was amazing, the salary was way under what I’m worth. I had to take some serious time to think about my situation, this opportunity, and the future of Viralogy.
This is seriously one of those decisions that will impact me for the rest of my life. Do I stay full-time at Viralogy and hope that we can make revenue in time to pay the mortage? Or do I take this amazing opportunity, step away from Viralogy, and devote my time and effort to SocialMediaMarketing.com?
One look at my Mom and brother and I knew what I had to do…
It’s been two weeks since I accepted the offer, you know what? I love my job!
I honestly can’t begin to describe how “un-corporate” my position is. I set the hours that I want, I hire the people that I want for my team, I set the direction for the site, I build the pricing matrix and our service offerings, and I truly have the responsibilities and authority of a leader. Most importantly, the CEO who hired me is someone that I can truly look up to.
I can finally look my peers in the eye. I too am now working a full-time job during the day and am devoting what I can on nights and weekends to support the startup that I love and built. It’s extremely tough, but so rewarding.
And just like that, it happened..
“Jun, I got my job back!”
I couldn’t believe it! My Mom says it was because of all of her praying (she is Buddhist), but I think that’s just the way life works. It’s so unexpected and wonderful.
And then, an unexpected blow…
“Jun, I need your brand to be focused only on SocialMediaMarketing.com. I can’t have it be associated with Viralogy.com. It’s just too much of a conflict of interest.”
It’s completely understandable. I know if I was the founder of a company (which I am), I would want my employees to be 100% devoted to the company, especially if the person is going to be the face of my company. And there in lies the dilemma: I am the face of Viralogy and now I must become the face of SocialMediaMarketing.com.
I joined SocialMediaMarketing.com with the promise to my team at Viralogy that I would remain an advisor and that they would always be able to leverage my personal brand for the success of Viralogy.com. Now I am faced with a tough decision that I must make by the end of the weekend.
- Viralogy.com is my baby and I will do anything to see it succeed
- I love my job at SocialMediaMarketing.com and look up to the CEO
- My family no longer needs me to support the household
- My girlfriend and Mom love the fact that I’m now making money
- SocialMediaMarketing.com will position me to speak at major social media events and allow me to further my brand
- Viralogy.com is doing very well and 1st hand research shows that companies will pay for our service
I value honesty and loyalty.
In a perfect world, I would be able to brand myself as the President (or equivalent) of SocialMediaMarketing.com and as the Founder of Viralogy.com – similar to what Dan Schawbel does with his company.
What should I do? I ask for your thoughts and opinions because I greatly value you as a reader. I thank you for joining me on my journey and I hope to bring value to you with each and every one of my posts.
I will make my decision by Sunday evening. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.