One of the interviewers today told me that my startup idea would never work and that I might as well go back to consulting. He then proceeded to bash my credentials and questioned my passion for education in Africa.
His remarks hurt a lot. I’m not going to lie. Sure, I have encountered skeptics before, but they offered constructive criticisms to make my project better. They told me to how to tweak my idea but were firm supporters that I should continue to run with my idea. But this person, he basically encouraged me to give up.
I didn’t know how to take it in the beginning. After all, no one has ever told me so frankly that I should give up on something. Doesn’t everyone know the cliche, “don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something”? I guess this person didn’t. My initial thoughts were, “maybe he is right. Maybe this is the rude awakening that I needed to completely and 100% pivot. And if it is a rude awakening, which most of us don’t catch except in hindsight, then I maybe should listen to him.” But after thinking more, I realized that he was not someone worth listening to. If he had really put into a lot of thoughts, he would have told me how to make the next idea better. He would have given me advice on how to avoid having another failure idea. Yet he didn’t. He just leaned back in his chair and looked at me.
This guy, no matter how powerful he is in the theology world, just made it to my people’s-opinion-I-should-ignore list.