A Return to Escaping the 9 to 5: Documenting a New Startup Adventure

The Escapingthe9to5 blog started almost a decade ago, and though I was greener than green to the world of business, I had figured out how to start and grow a profitable jewelry business through eBay.

The idea of documenting my journey appealed to me—partly it was the vanity of youth, assuming everything we do is new and unique. Partly, I loved the idea of sharing my experience with others—maybe to motivate, maybe to make friends, maybe just to be heard. This blog was started as a simple online journal to document my attempt to escape a traditional nine to five job. I have never had any love for cubicles, or mid-level managers, and they’ve never much taken a shine to me.

maren kate 2011
Riding the train, in 2010, between Reno, Nevada and San Francisco, just trying to get an idea off the ground… and clearly feeling EMO.

Nothing about my background, except the hard workers on both sides of my families’ genetic lineage (Armenian, Irish and Syrian), indicated that I would, or could, hack it in the business world. I wasn’t a star student, and had dropped out of college three classes short of graduating.

Yet, with some luck, and a lot of serendipitous relationships along the way, I’ve been able to clear my own path in the business world.

Alongside my co-founders, we grew a startup to a ten million dollar run rate, and 400+ people. I’ve raised over five million in capital (which is a crazy experience) and have been blessed to belong to strong networks of inspiring people in both San Francisco, and New York.

Now, after some intense personal and professional struggles, a decade older, hopefully wiser, and definitely much happier, I’ve begun again…

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Purposeful Disconnection

Today I had to tap a grown man on the shoulder and ask him to more or less “move it or lose it” in line for the water fountain. When the gentleman in question queued up, with a line growing behind him, began texting furiously and whilst doing so completely forgot the world beyond his cell phone.

One reason I jump at any chance to get out of the country is because it’s an opportunity for purposeful disconnection.

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Successful People Are Confident People

Smile, whether you feel like it or not, it breeds confidence.

Successful people are confident people, there are no two ways about it. Even if the successful person doesn’t seem confident in the suave way the media often portrays captains of industry, I will bet you dollars to donuts they possess quiet confidence—which is often times the most powerful.

People who achieve their goals are people who believe in themselves first, and their goals second.

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