Rarely does opportunity come knocking at our door. More so, when we’re least expecting it. Even when it comes we often pass it off out of fear or complacency. Recently, one such opportunity came my way – caught me completely off guard. An opportunity to do what I’ve always wanted to do since I joined venture capital and investing. In fact, I joined venture investing to learn its nuances. It was almost as if the Godfather was making me that offer himself. With that opportunity in hand, I was all set to jump ship from investing and get cracking. Until I was thrown a curve ball – another opportunity. Just as challenging, just as exciting and just as intellectually stimulating. I was given another opportunity to truly make a name for myself. To roll up my sleeves and get shit done.
Choosing between either opportunity has probably been the toughest decision of my life, yet. I was overwhelmed and humbled by both opportunities. Didn’t know how to choose one over another. Chalked up a list of pros and cons for each. Drew up business plans, financial models, etc. Spoke to experts in the business, mentors, acquaintances, friends, family, street dogs etc. Tried doing everything I could to arrive at a decision. Could not make up my mind. Both opportunities came with their own sets of challenges, risks and opportunities and that’s what made it so damn tough. Was inclined to choose the former opportunity but was not totally convinced. I didn’t have a HELL YEAH in my mind as yet. Was running out of time though. Would be unprofessional of me to keep both parties waiting and let life decide for me. I couldn’t let that happen. A close friend and mentor of mine called my problem, “a choice between Stanford and Harvard”.
Through the process, I kept reminding myself of this quote I’d heard, “Great leaders don’t take great decisions. Great leaders take decisions and make them great”. Unsure who said it, but this quote has guided me through most of my professional life so far. With that in mind, I had to make a choice and do whatever it took to succeed.
Until 24 hours before the day I was to tell the latter party of my decision of choosing the former opportunity, I went for a run to clear my mind. Running and exercising really helps me destress and just think straight. It was at this time that I really changed my mind. Taking everything into consideration, I chose the latter. A multitude of factors contributed to me arriving at my decision of choosing the latter. The primary consideration, though, was the timing of the opportunity – will I have a similar opportunity in the future? I felt the latter opportunity would not be available to me in the future. I felt strongly about this. On the flip side, would the former opportunity be available to me in the future? May be maybe not. I do not know.
What I knew is, I had made a decision. I could not have felt more convinced about my decision. People close to me did not expect me to make that choice. As I left the running park that evening, I remember telling myself one thing
You have no choice… but to be the best goddamn investor there is
I have been truly humbled by the opportunity presented to me by the former party. I had no words to express my gratitude. For some reason they have immense trust in my capabilities – something I will never forget and am truly indebted for. If you have found this post a little vague – it is on purpose.