My mom has always told me that I can accomplish everything I want, and so far I have. I learned how to speak english at the age of 11, I went to college when the odds were completely against me. I graduated, I got an amazing job that (at the time) was super prestigious. I made associate, I made VP. I made more money than my parents ever did. I always knew what was next, and what I needed to do to get there.
When I left Goldman everyone told me that ‘they were sure I would succeed’, my friends often tell me that if there is someone they know that can do X,Y and Z, it’s me. These kinds of comments always made me stand up a little higher, look a little brighter, feel a little prouder, boast a a little. But, it also made me a lot more afraid to fail. If I failed, it wasn’t just me that would be disappointed, it would be everyone that was sure I wouldn’t. Even though I made the leap and left my job, I have been so afraid, still am. But I have realized that my biggest fear was not failure, or running out of money— It was that people might see me as a failure.
The thing is, I don’t think I failed very much because I didn’t take enough risk. I am very proud of what I have accomplished so far in life. It took a lot of hard work, and literally, sweat and tears. I am not discounting that, but all those accomplishments happened inside a system that tells you exactly what needs to be done.
Friends, I love you for believing in me— You have been my backbone and the reason why I have gotten through many rough moments. But today, I tell you that I might fail. That I might fall flat on my face. That I might need to crash on your couch if my piggy bank runs out. That for the first time in my life, I might not achieve success in the way that the world defines it. Maybe, I won’t even achieve success in the way I define it. But whatever happens next, I am off to try and get to the other side of the jungle without a compass. Because there is no compass, or map or rules here.