The Process is the Destination

This upcoming May 2020 will mark two years since I completed my undergrad degree in comp sci from St. John’s Univ. Since then, I’ve experienced many twists and turns on my journey. I’ve needed to document them, and I thought it’d be a good way to share with others as well. So here’s what I’ve been up to:

  1. I started working as a web & database admin at the New York County Lawyers Association. When I graduated in 2018, I wanted like everyone else to get a really great job at a really great tech company. I had some friends who moved to Silicon Valley to start 6 figure salaries and some friends who stayed in New York to work at big names. But that didn’t happen for me. I did want it though — I just didn’t get it. Truthfully, I failed. I made it to the last round of technical interviews at Google, and I didn’t get the job. I applied and interviewed with dozens of other companies and never got the offer. I got so down at one point, I really started to believe I just wasn’t good enough. I went through a tough time trying to figure things out back then, but I eventually got a part-time job at a small, legal bar association pretty much running their technology. While doing this…
  2. I got started on a retail startup idea that I thought of during my senior year. The entirety of my senior year, I battled with deciding what I really wanted to do after I graduated. If I’m being honest with myself, I didn’t really want any of those jobs I applied for. I just figured getting one of those jobs was the safest thing to do after you graduate. But my heart was never really in it. What I did feel super passionate about, though, was working on a retail startup idea that I began dreaming up in my Partial Differential Equations class (still don’t know how I made it out that class). So, I took the part time job offer and ran with it. I spent all of my free time reading, researching, and studying every piece of material I could find on retail and startups. I learned a lot about writing serverless systems and applications, cloud architecture, and got pretty good at coding different frameworks. After many months of self-teaching and working obsessively on this idea, I decided I needed to put money behind it. This is when…
  3. I began subleasing different apartments in Brooklyn. This is where things picked up a bit. As it came time to renew my apartment lease, my good friend and roommate decided he was moving back to California, and I decided I wasn’t going to renew the lease. My thinking was that I’d sublease different apartments for a while to avoid signing a year lease until I found an apartment I wanted to be in, and, as a benefit, I’d be able to find cheap rooms in Brooklyn which would allow me to save money on rent. Over the span of 8 months, I lived in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and two Bushwick apartments. Wild? Definitely. Necessary? For me, yes. New York City is one of the rare places something like this is possible, and I did it — all thanks to God for leading me through. Also…
  4. I started working a second job at the Apple store. So yes, I decided to save as much money as possible to invest in the business. I got another part time job working in the Genius Bar at the Apple store. The last 8 months have been filled with me hustling my ass off. Working two jobs, 7 days a week, crazy hours, long days — some great days where I feel invincible and some rough days when I ask myself what all of this is for. But, I’ve remained sane, persistent, and on track to what God’s been leading me to. I’ve gained so many tools and lessons along the way, all which have equipped me to continue this pursuit. That’s when…
  5. I committed to being an entrepreneur. I’ve always been one deep down inside, going back to when I was in elementary school. And I also come from a family legacy of entrepreneurs. I watched my mom run her own business when I was younger, saw my grandpa build his business from scratch, and worked for my uncle as he grew his. A few months ago, I had a special moment when it hit me. I realized entrepreneurship is what all of this has been about for me. I’ve been discovering what it means to be an entrepreneur and discovering my identity as one. And as of recently…
  6. I started my first business. It’s a software business building cloud-native platforms for businesses and organizations who aren’t tech companies but who want to leverage all of the benefits of technology. It’s not the retail startup I dreamt up in math class my senior year — although I still do have aspirations to get that off the ground — but it’s the business I’ve been led to pursue at this stage of my journey. It involves many of the things I’ve learned and discovered during this entire process, and I’m eager to continue the pursuit.

It’s been quite a journey unfolding in real time for me, and I’m grateful for every experience that comes along the way. One big takeaway I’ve learned so far is “the process is the destination”. Set the intentions, quiet the noise, and put one foot in front of the other. TMC 🏁

Dylan