Sagar Upadhyay, there have been numerous times in my life (and career) that I gave up comfort, stability, and security to take a risk to achieve more. I can provide a few examples.

  • When I was an undergraduate, I had to work to put myself through college. Not only did I spend time in the military, I had an evening job to pay the bills. I would work until 4 AM, drive home, sleep for about one hour, wake up (feeling like crap), and drive back to campus for my early morning classes. I did this for years, but one semester was pretty extreme. However, I only missed one morning’s classes because it finally caught up with me one day and I collapsed on the floor.
  • I had a similar experience when I took a full-time job with Apple Computer, but was still trying to finish the work for my dissertation. I would work all day at Apple, grab a quick bite to eat for dinner with my wife and baby daughter, and then work until 4 AM every night on my dissertation research. I did this for my first six months at Apple. I slept very little, and I saw my newborn daughter even less. But, I did get through it and received my Ph.D.
  • When I joined eBay, I decided to get serious about my career and work my butt off to get promoted. I worked 12–14 hour days for 4 years, sometimes working straight through the weekends without taking a day off for up to six weeks. I continued working like this when I left eBay and joined Yahoo. I didn’t have dinner with my family, and I rarely saw my children during the week. But, I did get promoted seven times in seven years.

These are just a few examples, but I did go through a lot of pain and trouble to get my degrees, and get promoted over the years. Was the price that I paid worth it? I’m not sure. My career thrived, but I’ll never get those years back with my children.

Now, I like to help people find better ways to succeed in their careers without making the kinds of sacrifices that I did.

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