It’s weird to be a relatively old guy in Silicon Valley. A place that is driven by youthful ideas and youthful ambition and energy. A place driven by fast and tremendous change. And it’s definitely age-ist.
But there are benefits of being the older dude who has been through the cycles. The crazy booms and the painful busts. And having survived them too. History is a great tool to understand, cope and dare I say it, even thrive.
I admit there are days I wish I was 25 years old again. To have the energy and bright years ahead of me. And to have the time to compete against all the young brilliant smart kids I meet here. A sense of envy and regret from not knowing what I know now earlier and not taking action earlier.
But I’m eventually able to shake it off. I realize we all have our own paths to take. Entrepreneurship was just not a career path when I was growing up. I grew up in an academic household and was just not aware, nor did I have the right mental frame to do this when I started off. Which is why I am glad I left Canada. It got me into the right circles to find my tribe and path.
I’ve done all the crap I was supposed to do coming the way up. I’ve worked with awful people and learned to tolerate the indignity. I’ve done the stupid projects for money. But most importantly, I’ve learned tremendous lessons all along the way. Net net: I grew & still strive to grow even more.
Now because of my convoluted career and journey, I feel like I’ve earned my way to where I am. A life that I’ve wanted for a long time. Travel, books, building, investing and advising & working with interesting, ambitious and Intelligent people I respect. And to be a role model worthy of learning from in a life of generosity and service to others.
Jason Momoa said it best recently in an interview in Men’s Health magazine a few months back.
“I’m doing everything that I want to do, everything that I’m designed to do. And you’ve got to do that. I want my children to know that and do that. I worked for a very long time when they were young doing shit I didn’t want to do to put food on the table.
And now? You should only work with the people you wanna work with. You should create with the people you wanna create with. And if you’re not, then you got one shot in this life — you gotta get the fuck out. Whatever situation you’re in, you gotta find your path, you know?”
I’ve lived a great adventure all around the world. Finding my fortune and enjoying the ride along the way (most of the time :)) I pinch myself everyday. I wish this for you all as well.