Never in my wildest dreams that I have thought of myself running a startup company. I have always dreamt of working for the big names – Google or NASA – any of those companies where you don’t even need to explain what it does. But really, I have never thought that a day would come that I would actually be given the opportunity to run a company of my own.
This is not at all to say that I don’t like where I am right now. In hindsight, this tops any dream that I have ever envisioned for myself. I love what I do here – not because I own my time and be my own boss, but because the challenges that I face every single day of running a startup makes me grow beyond what I thought I could be. In Pragmanila, I’m an engineer, a clerk, a janitor, a mentor, a security guard, anything, everything – because I believe any small contribution is a big thing to a startup. It makes me happy to contribute to the wellness of Pragmanila because this gives back to the people contributing to it.
It’s a common notion, I think, that people tend to believe that once you have already put up your own company, you’re already at the top of your career. I learned pretty quick though, that this is not the case. Putting up a company is easy, but running it – that’s the real deal. For the longest time, I have always been a software engineer. Had some quick gigs in product development, marketing, and such but I identified myself more on the engineering side. Once Pragmanila was set up, technically, I became a businessman. On the first months of being in Pragmanila, I had learned that I had to expound more that what I was already good at. Some startups fail because they tend to focus on just a core competency (like engineering or marketing) but forget that operationally running the company in itself should not be forgotten – things like accounting, HR, legal, hell… even janitorial. The company is still an entity that should be taken care of. This is why we have competent people in Pragmanila to help us in these aspects – and really I feel blessed for having these people.
I am always tired because I am compelled to do things that are beyond what I actually do. To be honest, going from employee to employer is not an easy thing. I come to the office everyday thinking that while I am an employer, I am also an employee. While I need to be a “boss” sometimes, I also have to be a colleague. There’s a delicate balance, especially that I know what it means to be an employee. When I come home doing a lot of coding for a project – I always feel that there’s something else that I should have done, and I’m always tired just thinking about it. I am always tired but I know that being tired is a just part of the blessing of being in Pragmanila.
It gives me joy to see that the people we have in Pragmanila are driven, passionate and competent individuals. Seeing what they produce everyday makes me feel that I am lucky to be surrounded by these people. It humbles me to see them all heads down in work really pushing themselves very hard just to get to the perfection that they imposed upon themselves. We never asked them to do this. They don’t go the extra mile – they go the extra light year! We have a very laid back environment, but maybe we are doing something right for them to do this for Pragmanila. There are a lot of intelligent and competent people in this industry, but I am proud to say that we have the most passionate and driven ones.
In a very short span of time, I guess I have learned more than ever because of Pragmanila – maybe more than what I will essentially learn by being in Google or NASA. What keeps me going is this feeling that in one way or another, in the grand scheme of things, we are helping someone – whether people who need solutions for their businesses, people who need to learn something new, people who want to explore, people who need jobs, and people who need inspiration. This feeling of helping – it just cancels out all that feeling of being tired. Pragmanila is a business, yes – at the end of the day, money talks. But these perks that we get along the way, these things that can not even be monetized or measured financially – these are the things that always makes it worthwhile.
Pragmanila was built on the foundation of goodwill and I know, it will stand by it.