Message To First Time Founders: You Are Not Your Thoughts…
You are not your thoughts…
One of my most important realizations is that banal statement above.
So often we let a small voice in the back of our head guide our actions like it’s edicts are gospel. But it’s not. By choosing to ignore it’s neurotic, insecure ramblings, you will significantly improve your well being as a founder.
What if I told you this website and the Techish podcast shouldn’t exist. Follow me for a second.
August 2015, POCIT was nothing but a twitter account. We hadn’t officially launched the site (and just had few articles in the pipeline). Unfortunately, a few prominent and well-meaning tech luminaries gave us feedback: what we were working on wasn’t necessary, and was a misallocation of resources. We needed businesses by people of color in tech, not another one about people of color in tech – That’s covered.
Cue voice in head:
“what if they’re right, what if we’re wasting your time, who are you even to try this, you’re not even based in the States. You’re not a real entrepreneur, what have you ever done as a founder that’s worked.”
With significant coaching by my amazing confounder Ruth, we preserved, and I ignored that “voice”. We’ve since interviewed hundreds of some of the most talented black and brown people in the world, not to mention helped countless others find new roles at amazing companies with pocitjobs.com.
Lesson learned…right? Well not really.
Fast forward to February 2018…
As an avid podcast listener (I’m the kind of person who argues out-loud while listening to their favorite podcast) I knew audio was the future. Mmmm… What if we launched a podcast that’s equal parts tech and culture?
I mulled it over.
The voice returned
“Who are you to do a podcast? 1. You speak too fast, 2. You speak in slang, 3. You have an accent (most of our audience is in the States)…. nobodies going to want to hear what you’ve got to say”
Thankfully this time I could site my previous experience back in 2015. I could now reference the last time I told that “voice” to shut the f*ck up, and what that led too. I had a track record.
And boy am I glad I did. The Techish podcast has been one of the most exciting/rewarding chapters in my life!
In conclusion – often the noises that emanate from our heads has a grain of truth. But very often its insecurities and fears, implanted by others [society, family, friends, and frenemies] preventing us from actually doing what we’re capable of – ignore it, I know I will.