I saw a post on Mashable last week that took me back to something I wrote last year when I had heard the news that Facebook had purchased Whatsapp for $19 Billion. At the time that I wrote it, I spoke anonymously. The main reason being, I was (and still am) ashamed of feeling jealous by the success of others.
As I've gotten older, my envy and jealousy of others has lessened, but hasn't gone away. Not in the least.
Part of the problem is that I'm competitive, which I accept as both a good and bad personality trait. But, the biggest challenge for me is overcoming my insecurities in regards to my own professional success, or lack there of.
In order for someone to truly accept another person's success, they must first being willing to accept their own--irrespective of how little they may have in comparison.
I'm nowhere near where I believe that I should be in terms of my professional success and that makes me very uncomfortable. The crazy part is, I'm really not sure where I should be, which means that if I were there, I wouldn't know.
While I continue to work on defining my own path, I'm allowing myself to be jealous. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.
In case you're interested, here's the post I wrote last year in its entirety:
I've got to be honest. It's only been a few hours since I saw the first Facebook/WhatsApp acquisition headline and I'm already sick of it.
The truth is, I haven't even read any of the articles yet, just the headlines. I don't need to read them, I get it ... WhatsApp started from nothing, has a small team, worked tirelessly, probably raised a less than significant amount of money ... yadda yadda yadda. It's a Cinderella story, I get it.
I know I sound bitter, and I kind of am. But really, I'm just jealous as hell.
I'm not going to read the stories because I don't want to feel mediocre. I wish the whole thing would just disappear like a fart in the wind.
"This is good news for all startups."--It's plausible, but that doesn't help.
I'm a born and bred entrepreneur. I'm competitive as hell. So yes, it bothers me when I'm not the one winning. I'm certainly not going to celebrate someone else's victory.
I don't think Peyton Manning was sitting front row at Seattle's victory parade, high-fiving Russell Wilson, saying it was good for the sport they won. I'm sure he was checked out, which is ok. We accept that as normal for athletes.
Why are founders held to a different standard?
While we're not all competing for the same prize, we are all competing for success. It's binary, there are winners and losers. Unfortunately for us, there are only a few spots at the podium.
So forgive me for not blowing streamers on Twitter. I'm keeping my party favors for my own victory dance.