On Independence

I may not be as independent as I’d like to think I am.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I have always fancied myself to be fiercly independent, thinking I can get along without anyone else’s help or even influence. I have always liked to think that I didn’t care what others thought about me or how I ran my life as long as I felt good about it. But as I have been thinking about my decision of what to do with my life, I have noticed that I rely more and more on the reactions and opinion of my friends and family. It is important for me to get “buy-in” on a decision regarding my life. As I describe my business idea to friends, my confidence in my idea is deeply influenced by their reaction.

When I told a friend who worked at Google my business idea, he said that he was sure they would go for it. I was instantly invigorated and excited to head down that path, but then when I relayed that news to another friend, her reaction was very understated, and I withdrew back into myself. Just that single reaction has been able to counteract good feelings about the idea. I have since spoken to two more friends about my idea, and they have given me encouraging words, even lending more ideas about how to conduct the business. But I am still working to build up my confidence back to its original level.

I spoke to my father this weekend about the job offer I received last week. He was ecstatic to hear the news, because he is proud of me. He thinks it is great that I would be in demand for employment, and he loves the fact that the job offers more responsibility and arguably more money (though I haven’t gotten to that point in the offer process yet). I have many questions to ask before deciding whether or not to accept the job offer, the biggest of which is “Do I want to start my own business?” But hearing my father sound so excited and proud makes it that much harder for me to say “no.”