I'm 26 years old, I recently got my bachelors in computer science and got a secure 9-5 job as a programmer in one of the big software companies. Making good money but something is missing as most of you would expect.
All my life I've been building small and stupid things for myself, and it was kind of obvious for me that one day I'll start a business of my own.
Well, that day has yet to come. Now working in a cubicle and doing mundane work for someone else, it has been like a wake up call for me. I suddenly find myself very stressed about the future, scared that I might end up doing this for the rest of my life (I know that most people would be thankful to have this sort of "problem", but I think other wantrepreneurs can get where I'm coming from).
I've always been the kind of person to take risks and choose my own paths but now my life is starting to look like the movie "Office Space" and it's making me very eager to change course fast.
I guess being eager to start a business is a good thing, but it also comes with a problem. I think I put too much pressure on myself to come up with a good idea, and as you know coming up with start-up ideas on-demand is anything but easy. I've had a few ideas over the past few months, but I had to abandon all of them after a while (mostly because of no validation of technical difficulties). Anyway, this post isn't about coming up with ideas.
How can I get over this problem I have? I feel like I need to do something fast, but I also understand that this pressure is not helpful and is probably making me even less productive. Has anyone else been in this position?
I'm glad you asked this question. A lot of people in their mid to late 20s feel this way -- I felt the same way (didn't feel "stable" until recently when I was close to 30).
First thing you need to understand is the age misconception is just that, a misconception. There is no better way to explain it than this infographic.
Age has no correlation to achieving success with your own startup. It's a self created barrier.
Entrepreneurship has a lot in common with physics. When something gets in motion, it stays in motion.
When you are just starting out, it's easy to feel overwhelmed since you're thinking about making the next billion dollar corporation. I would highly recommend getting your feet wet with something on a smaller scale. Reasons why that will help you:
Many would disagree with me on this next point, but getting your start with a "me too" product is an easy way to get going (and start generating a passive income). The problem arises when you are grilling yourself to come up with a huge idea that will make you billions.
Here is what I would do if I was in your exact situation:
Speaking from my own experience, the thing that holds me back from launching new things is perfection. I'm borderline OCD when it comes to design and code, and it's the biggest detriment to starting new businesses.
Even after having started several startups, this habit makes an appearance almost every, damn, day.
It's about recognizing it when you start thinking that way ("this needs to be perfect"), and force yourself to launch it any. Or commit that code as is without refactoring it and move on to the next bit.
TL;DR Start something small to get the process started. Age has nothing to do with it.
I agree with the other answer. Start anything small to get going. Life is too short to think about what-ifs. Being out of your comfort zone is the only way to do.
I'd also recommend getting in the right mindset by going to some startup events and listing to Mixergy podcasts.
Andrew Warner (of Mixergy) gave great advice recently: feeling uncomfortable is good. Doing something new almost always feels uncomfortable. Entrepreneurs are always doing something new. Rather than trying to mitigate that uneasy feeling, embrace it.