Finally the ticket booked:
“Tuesday morning 10.15 AM – from Melbourne to San Francisco”
I sat in Gloria Jean’s coffee and reflected on all that have happened since I founded C4S. I started with sleepless nights, long hours of English practicing but no stress at all because I absolutely loved what I was doing. Then success came along. C4S had become one of the popular Code Schools around the world with a strong community that was growing rapidly. It filled the gap current code schools didn’t yet fill, which is to not only help people learn how to code but also inspire them, to make them gain the confidence and believe in themselves that they can create things and change lives.
I was a solo founder for almost a year and did a lot of things myself: designing curriculums, creating courses, doing growth hacking and marketing, setting up partnership with other companies, etc. There were so many hats that I was wearing during that time.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb
Then I teamed up with Gillian who is now my co-founder. Gil is an exceptional entrepreneur and we both shared the same passion and same vision of EdTech. Right on our first talk, I was convinced of how together we can leverage C4S to educate millions people and eventually change their lives. Oh Gosh, I believe we’re a damn great duo. I then made one of my biggest decisions in my entire life: packing up and go to Silicon Valley.
- There are so many uncertainty and risky things but I accepted them all. I have a very comfortable life in Melbourne, Australia.
- Good salary to pay off the bills
- BBQ with friends weekends or relaxing on the beach
- Travelling overseas twice a year
- Why do I risk everything to start this off in Silicon Valley while I’m completely aware the fact that most startups (90%) fail in 3 years?
- Want to be a millionaire?
- My kids in the best private school?
- Living in a luxury house?
=> No, none of them.
I was born and raised in a poor family in Hanoi, Vietnam. My parents expected me to get a stable job, lead a simple life, and be happy and healthy for the rest of my life. After my graduation, I did have a good job, an uncomplicated life but I wasn’t really happy. I felt there was missing piece but I couldn’t get what it was. Then I decided to move on and moved to Australia for a new start.
A few years passed and one day I called my dad from Australia: “Dad, I got a job with a $70K salary”. My dad was tearing down and he was so happy for me. He felt that was a reward from God to our family after all. I was happy, extremely happy because now I was able to pay off the debts, support my family and live a comfortable life. The work life wasn’t too tough: Wake up at 7.45 am, go to the train station and take a 40 minutes long ride. Go to the office at 9 am, do your work and being responsible and busy all day, stay under the radar and leave at 5 pm. Take another 40 minutes long ride back home. Simple as that, no strings attached. I’ve been working like that for 5 years with 2 different companies.
One day, on the train back home, I was exhausted after a long day. I was looking at the people surrounding me. Some felt sleepy just like me, some were reading news, some were checking Facebook and a guy was playing Candy Crush. That was a routine happening exactly every single day for almost 5 years and we all knew there was almost 99% that was going to happen again tomorrow. Yes, we were going to meet each other again after 5pm on this train at this time with those faces. It’s simple and predictable!
But I fucking hated it. I really wanted to step out that loop and create my own way. I wanted to start something cool, something meaningful and something that would help me architect my own fucking life and be a fucking person that I want to be. I’m willing to have more sleepless nights than ever before to just make my dream come true rather than be safe with a secure job but a less meaningful life.
And YES, I quit my job to pursue my dream.
“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs.” – Tony Gaskin
No matter how challenging your journey will be, man, just enjoy the ride and believe in your passion, your heart and your soul. Let God take care of all the fucking shit for you.
That was the reason I founded Code4Startup to educate people and inspire them. I’m in a new chapter of this journey together with my friend, my co-founder – Gil and we would love to have you as part of our journey - a journey to 1 MILLION students.