My whole entrepreneur life has been a series of episodes where my eyes were opened to a greater reality.
I can still remember when STORM collected its first payment back in 2005. My partner Pao and I gave a gaming company 2-weeks of access to our new online survey software for P5000. (which was completely, idiotically underpriced!)
But I remember the feeling.
“Someone paid us money for a product we made! OMG!”
After years in corporate, and knowing the salary as the only means of getting cash, it was quite the eye-opener.
It was like the very moment we got to know how to swim. At first, were scared of the water, right? We needed to hang on to the edge. At one point though, we just trusted and we let go. Then came a startling realization – that the water isn’t the enemy, after all. And then afterwards, all we wanted to do was swim around and around, explore, and test our limits.
After getting our feet wet with P5000, we wanted to do so much more.
In 2006, I remember when I had to kick STORM out of my condo because I just got married, and well, it would have been awkward if the living room was still going to be full of computers and employees.
So Pao and I rented out a small place for STORM – no more than the size of a conference room – at San Antonio Village in Pasig. We then we got ourselves our first set of “real” office furniture. I remember when we were first putting the furniture in the office. Pao and I couldn’t get rid of the smiles on our faces, even if we were shelling out major moolah and now had to pay rent. We had an office! In our minds, a foundation had been built – STORM could stand on its own.
Another moment when some of my blinders came off was in 2007 when STORM landed a big account in competition with two large multinational player. It further opened my eyes that a startup can be much more than a mom and pop, if you choose to do so.
Whenever I would have blinder-dissolving moments like these, I would have trouble sleeping (my friends would know this) because my mind would be on overdrive. I would be imagining the endless possibilities in a new reality – one where previous horizons have been pushed back.
My big fulltime leap in 2008 scratched a huge blinder – that I needed to work in a corporation to survive. It was liberating, in all sense of the word.
I think I grew addicted to the process, so now I SEEK opportunities where I can disentangle myself from even more blinders. 2008 was when I started reading startup and entrepreneurial books like crazy. Actually, I find that a good book – fiction or otherwise – will always result in blinders crashing down. Same goes to meeting new people. Or new experiences. Even failure.
Then I started realizing something – that there are indeed, no limits. The only limits would come from the limits we impose on ourselves, either consciously or unconsciously.
Remove those blinders. You can be all you want to be.