Weston McBride writes about what he calls a “moment of clarity.” While he was building a mobile shopping startup, McBride’s girlfriend challenged him. His dream in life was to help solve the world’s water problems. So why wasn’t he doing that? The subsequent soul-searching made McBride realize he was on the “deferred life plan.” His post explaining the jolting realization and the subsequent weeks are worth a read for anyone who doesn’t feel quite right. His take:

My immediate defensive reaction [to the question] was to explain my 5 year plan, as I had rehearsed: “I’ll be [there] soon enough. I just have to sell this mobile shopping company for $200M and then I can actually pursue my dream of solving the world’s water problems.”

But my girlfriend challenged this: “How does selling a consumer app company help you disrupt the potable water market?” She was right, and I knew it.

McBride then decided to act brashly.

I knew that I was powerfully unhappy, that something was wrong, but I was powerless to do anything about it.

It took a piercing question from my girlfriend to wake me from that trance. I knew I was working on a startup where I had no empathy for my users and had no passion for the space or the problems we were solving, and I knew that was wrong. But what I had to realize was that I didn’t need to do that.

That revelation liberated me. The next day, I talked with my co-founders and transitioned out of the company over the next 4 weeks.

McBride says he’s currently researching for his next project: solving the world’s water problems.

  • Anon E. Mouse

    So pursuing your dream is a deceptively simple, two-step process: Step 1 – cash out of your 200M company and Step 2 – Pursue your dream. I am astonished that more people don’t do this.

    • Justin A. Dreamworld

      You took the words right out of my mouth, Mouse. I happen to be living this two-step process right now as I 1) Just left (read: got laid off from) my day job and 2) Am pursuing my business dream while in the unemployment line. Anyone can do it. It really is that simple!

    • Sean Blanda

      The author is, in fact, saying the opposite. He doesn’t want to wait for any windfall to pursue his dream. As the windfall may never come, and he only THOUGHT he needed that validation before moving on.

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