Gagan Biyani 🏛 Profile picture
Sep 23, 2020 14 tweets 4 min read Read on X
Yesterday I made a major life announcement: I’m starting a NewCo after 3 years of exploring

More of you cared than I expected; thanks for the support! 🙏🏾

What the hell did I do for 3 years?

Thought I’d share the back-story...

**Read On**
In 2017, my life blew apart as I shut down @Sprig. Shock + relief.

Even as we shut down, new opportunities were coming my way.

Funders for new ventures. Hotshot CEOs asking me to be an exec.

There’s always opportunity in SV.

What opportunities would I miss by stepping away?
After some good advice, I needed to resist the FOMO.

I know people who grinded for 20 years straight, constantly chasing more success and more money. That wasn’t for me.

I decided on the first rule of my transition: GET AWAY.

I packed my bags, left SF and went nomadic. Image
The second rule: Don’t obsess over “What’s next?”

If I dwelled on “what’s next” every day, it would drive me mad.

It can be so unsettling to be without work, without purpose.

Yet that was what I needed, so I leaned in and forced myself to be present.
In the background, my mind churned.

I spent my 20s building. Non-stop grinding. Finally, I took time off.

I was reclaiming my personal and social life. I fed my non-work passions: learning, reading, and connecting with humans from all walks of life.
I followed my instincts and channeled my inner hippie backpacker. 😉

I traveled to places that evoked my curiosity. And I stayed (relatively) true to one rule:

No work.
No public speaking.
No “coffees.”
No networking.

This freed my time for more creative pursuits Image
After 18 months of travel, I found myself. Nothing had changed but everything had changed.

The freedom opened me up to new things. The most important things.

I met a girl in Kigali and fell in love. I don’t think this would’ve been possible if I hadn’t gone on this journey.
She started at Oxford MBA in Sept 2019. After 2 years as a nomad, I was ready to start working.

This was a big decision.

@naval advised me not to rush such a big decision.

I made a hard rule: I would not make long-term work commitments for 12 months.
Over that 12 months, living between Oxford and Austin, I explored lots of ideas.

Every few weeks I was doing something new:
- I wrote the first draft of a memoir.
- I launched 2 online courses (and took 4).
- I mentored entrepreneurs.
- I interviewed for potential roles.
There was no “process.” For me, my creative brain needed the freedom to flit from thing to thing.

Yet, there was intention: I gave myself 12 months to figure out what’s next.

Instead of over-planning this, the intention was enough.
Slowly, my interests started to converge.

I noticed themes amongst the various projects I’d worked on.

By month 6, I was exploring a few ideas:
starting an education venture studio,
building courses for entrepreneurs,
or joining an existing high-profile education business.
By month 9, all of those had fallen through.

A studio would be too much stress: one company is enough!

Teaching wasn't enough: I wanted to build!

Joining wouldn't work either: I love partners, but need to be there from the beginning.
Just as it felt like things were falling apart, I figured out the pattern and the mystery was solved.

In Sept 2020, exactly 12 months later, I decided on an idea.

I don't know if it will work. But I made this decision clear-eyed and clear-headed. That’s the best I could do.
Thanks for the continued support. You can hear more about my journey / follow along via my newsletter:

And feel free to ask questions in the comments!


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