In early 2018, three years after starting Crystal, I officially reached burnout.
If you've been involved in a startup company before, you're familiar with the frantic pace. Every employee has three or four roles, every day brings a new crisis to handle, and the ground you're standing on feels like it shifts beneath your feet. Every month in a startup feels like a year, especially in a high-growth, venture-backed environment. It's a grind, and it's not for everyone, but I can't get enough of it.
Ever since high school, I almost exclusively worked in these kinds of high-intensity environments, where you need to push through long hours of little progress, constantly brushing up against failure. I sold pizza box advertising door-to-door; I dressed up in a cow costume to sell real estate; I spent a summer hopping from apartment to apartment in Boston to exterminate bed bugs.
No, Crystal is not a grind like those other jobs. I sincerely love our company and the people I get to spend my days with. Our mission is one that I have dedicated my whole career to, and one to which I will gladly devote many, many more late nights. Our product is great, and the market is growing. There's a lot to be excited about.
But still, I hit burnout. It wasn't necessarily a physical thing, but a mental one. I didn't want to go into the office; didn't want to meet with anyone; didn't want to sell anything; didn't want to build the product.
After hitting ...