How did you start your first business?

I started my first business with my family, and so—when I say this aloud—I often feel like I “cheated” my way to success.

Allow me to explain.

My father immigrated to the United States from Pakistan with literally nothing.

He went to school for engineering, but when he graduated, no one would hire him.

He began to hustle, selling insurance door to door, until he could open his own agency.

He leased a building and started with nothing more than a phone and a desk.

From there, he started several businesses, earning multiple millions.

When I graduated, I helped him open more businesses.

He invested his money, and I invested my time and energy.

And for a long time, we did really, really well.

(Until COVID-19) hit.

The entire time, though, I had imposter’s syndrome.

Though I run a business day in and day out, I felt I didn’t earn my success, so to prove myself, I started my own business: a subscription box company.

In its first year, it amassed over 6 figures in revenue, but ultimately, I began to burn out like crazy running businesses with both my father and my own business on weekends/nights.

I had to pick one.

So I sold my subscription box, but it at least proved to me that I could start a business (and successfully exit) independently of my family.

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