This article is actually just a babble. So here you go, a few years ago, I built a startup with some good friends. Initially, everything went smoothly, helping and supporting each other, even without a specific division of tasks. However, because I have skills in programming, I work more in building applications including forming a developer team, starting from the recruitment process, training, direction, project management so that the developers can understand the work patterns, system architecture and design patterns used. By understanding these things, I can easily delegate a task in a project to one or more developers, they will immediately carry out the execution without having to bother discussing basic things in software engineering. Basically, I just explain the high-level system design, arrange the task scheduling, they just follow it and I just set the work rhythm to QA and delivery.
However, after years of running like that, somehow the story began, I started to get involved in non-technical things. Like being invited to a sales meeting, or discussing company financial problems. Maybe they thought that because I was one of the founders as well as a shareholder, I had to participate in the company’s operations outside the field I was handling. On the other hand, other founders certainly don’t want to be involved in application development projects. And this is where the initial problem occurred, because I allowed myself to get involved in other things outside of my field, and didn’t draw a firm line. Despite being a shareholder, for the company’s operations, everyone must focus on the areas that have been determined in the organization, because otherwise the concentration will be divided and my part of the company’s mission will be neglected.
Every day I feel more and more depressed, because every time I am invited to a meeting, I always feel uncomfortable. The sales meeting becomes an arena for product criticism. In the finance meeting I must also think about the company’s cashflow, which in a certain period can enter a critical period. Sometimes this meeting can last for several days, so that I no longer focus on carrying out my duties as CTO. The peak was when entering the Covid-19 pandemic period, where sales dropped dramatically and cashflow was disrupted. Almost every day there is always something to be discussed in sales and finance meetings. So, the feeling of being depressed is bothering me even more. It occurred to me to let go of this burden by leaving everything I had built up over the years.
In the end, I had to make a tough decision. What’s the point of holding on if the situation is irreversible, even though there is a sense of emotional attachment to something that I built from scratch. When that day, I signed the release of shares and actually left this company, I was a bit surprised. I don’t feel sentimental at all, but it’s the worry-free feeling that predominates. It was like waking up from a nightmare where every day only the condition of declining sales or cash flow reserves continued to fall, instead of developing the creativity of the next product’s features.
The moral of the story: Never be afraid to let go of what we have built from scratch if it has become a burden in life. Because we deserve to live quietly and focus on what is our expertise and passion. And now I feel happy and calm by returning to work as a regular employee, with a net income that is even greater than the income when I own a business.