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Alec Buda
Alec Buda

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Refusing to give up on your dreams, Storytime

Everyone has innate dreams and passions - people just find them at different stages of their life. For me, it happened when I was 22 years old. I'll never forget that moment - not only did I discover what I wanted to do with my life, I also discovered my identity.

Backtracking a few years earlier, I was always a pretty random guy. I got really into the guitar one year and jammed all day with friends. I spent a short period of time doing street magic. One month I'd have an emo fringe and the next a mohawk. So yeah - I was all over the place. The only consistency here was that I loved to be creative and learn new things.

Study-wise I was doing a masters in electrical engineering and loved mathematics and problem solving as much as I loved creating and building. It wasn't until after my degree though that I connected the dots to entrepreneurship as my path.

The day I connected the dots was within the same week I completed my degree. I was hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend at their house. I had a 3 month holiday ahead of me before starting a full time job as an Engineer. At one point, we chatted about what I was going to get up to in the 3 months I had off before starting the job. I made a joke about starting a business to sell an electronics gadget I came up with in my last couple of months at uni. I didn't think much of it at the time, but when I was heading home that evening on the train, watching the sun set across some beautiful wheat fields, that I had the realisation. I knew how to design an electronics gadget from my degree - what's the worst that could happen if I actually tried to create this business? The more I thought about it, the more excited I got.

Fast-forward 3 months and I'd created a prototype. Fast-forward another 3 months and I made my first sale on eBay. Go forward another 2 years and the business became a fully established online store with an annual profit on par with a full-time salary.

The story doesn't end there, unfortunately. You see, I never quit my full time job. And the truth is, I don't find fulfilment at all from my full time job. Entrepreneurs out there might know what I mean - some people just can't find fulfilment as an employee, irrespective of the job. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with this, just as there is nothing wrong with someone who does find peace as an employee. It is just is the way things are.

With that said, I haven't quit my full time job because of money. Without getting into the details, I know that my first business won't provide the same profit in the long term that it does at present. It simply can't be the business that I go all in on. Also, money is a pretty big factor in my life as the cost of living in my city is high. I won't be able to provide for my family in the same way that my parents did for me without a good income. So, in order to achieve my dream as a full time entrepreneur, I had to start all over again from scratch. Outside of the 40 hours working on my full time job and the 10 hours working on my first business, I started working an additional 20 hours a week building a second business.

This is when I began studying ReactJS, MongoDB, ExpressJS and GatsbyJS. I had a grip on HTML, CSS and JavaScript but I had no experience with these modern frameworks when I began. On the first day of deciding I needed to build a second business I completed the famous ReactJS tutorial and was hooked. I developed a passion for the MERN stack and spent every night studying and coding a full stack software application. Jump one year forward and I launched the software application on AWS along with a website to market it on. For anyone whoever doubts their ability to become a great software developer, please don't. I myself am definitely not a professional coder by any means but I was still able to make it through perseverance, passion and a determined commitment to never give up on my dreams. I'll throw in a Jack Ma quote here that I love from 1999 in the early days of Alibaba.

"All of our brains are just as good as theirs. This is the reason we dare to compete with Americans. If we are a good team and know what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them. We can beat government agencies and big famous companies because of our innovative spirit. Otherwise, what is the difference between us and them?"

I haven't reached my dream yet. My new business is still in the early days of marketing. I can say with confidence, however, that it will succeed one day. It might not be this year or next year, but one day it will. I will not stop until it does.

That will be it for today! Thanks so much for reading. If you are interested in checking out the UI of my new website I'll link it below. I hope that if you have the desire to build your own website it will inspire you as one person truly can do so much.

Take care!


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