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Major decision paralysis - need guidance.

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p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
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TL;DR - Out of job. Do I get the next fulltime rightaway, or freelance while starting side businesses? Aging parents. $300,000 in student loans. Am 35.

Whew, what a ride past two months has been. I'm writing this out of agony, pain from decision paralysis.
Join me for a ride inside my head.

I've been in a successful biotech startup for the past year and 10 months. I really loved it - the science was solid, products were being sold, and my IT team was freaking amazing. Talented people with kind personalities.. you couldn't ask for more. Well me yes I could've asked for raise. But that was promised.

Then in the last two months, the income stream dried up because of a series of unforeseen, unlucky events. Company went from employing hundreds to having less then thirty, just barely scraping by. I was told to look for jobs.

... all that happened in the last two months. The last day my mental stability cracked and I came down with a cold. In Summer.

I've been mindlessly fixing my LinkedIn, looking for next place where I can use the skillset as an App Developer. Applying to some jobs with one of those 1-click hiring apps.

Then I realized I'm at that point.

That point in all the "entrepreneur origin" articles about how they started. Specifically that paragraph where they stopped climbing the ladder. Where they realized they didn't want to be an engineer forever. Where they then holed up in their parent's garage and started to experiment starting businesses. And then some hard working months later, they start making bank.

But it torments me. From reading so much I know this is the moment. I'm scared because it's actually happening in my life. I am old enough so number of "f*ck ups" my life can buffer are limited.

If you read my earlier posts, I'm $300,000 down in student loans. Savings allow about 10 months runway given my monthly expenses (living in garage with parents).
Federal loans allow income-based-payment, so I am not required to make any payments, but I pay $400 monthly.

I have three goals and three desires, and I really don't know what my next steps should be.

Goals:
1. Liberate my parents from their time-dependent family business in two years so they can enjoy life (they are hitting ages 60~65)
2. Save enough and build stability to actually look for a potential wife and tie the know in two years (I'm 35)
3. Long term is founding $10mil in profit company, short term goal is forming multiple cash flow (stable job + side business) to pay back loans at $10,000/mo so I'll be done paying in 3 years.

Desires:
1. I want to be in a full time job that pays well and I can quench my thirst for programming. It's really like mental crack for me.
2. I want to learn Machine Learning(ML), because I want to, I NEED TO, get into data science. Programming for data is .. so enticing. ML and cryptocurrency is the way to be future-safe if you want to be a successful software engineer that's future-proof. ML is going down the commoditized path so fast. Ethereum is blowing up. And I've intended to learn them for.. a year now.
3. I want to use every little programming, marketing, SEO, trendy tech I have in my arsenal to double down and help the family business so it reaches goal #1.

Knowing all too well I'm at a very important inflection point, I'm very hesitant to decide on a path.
How do I reach my goals? I can't just do my desires, because the goals are the bare minimum to provide a stable future, where my parents, my future family, will be happy and satisfied.

Just my desires alone would leave me mentally happy, but leave my entrepreneur goals in limbo until God knows when. I can't do that. I need income fast.

My de-facto plan, the autopilot I'm on, is this one:

1. Get a full-time job as a full-stack web developer, or possibly some equal pay as a data engineer in the healthcare sector
2. Split free time after job to study ML and cryptocurrency, while using my skills for family business.
3. And after all that, if I do have some time, work on side businesses.

Alternative one, scary and less feasible to reach my goals is:

1. Prolong getting a full-time job, while doing related freelancing work to hone my data science/engineer game.
2. Learn ML and Data science, make web presence to get known.
3. Attempt to get Data Science job.
4. .. with slightly more free time, work on family business to reach goal #1
5. .. while also trying to start side businesses, reaching goal #3.

.. or other plans I'm missing (please help me if so)

I don't know which is better. Which is more correct. I think my "de-facto" plan is realistic, and my "alternative" plan is too dreamy. I'm doing down "de-facto" plan now. Applying to jobs.

Am I right in my conclusion? Should I follow "de-facto"? Or is it remnants of Sidelane echoing in my decisions? What am I missing in the teachings of MF? Unscripted ?

Thank you for reading. I just had to write it somewhere, just had to ask somewhere.
 

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Lafandriel

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2017
38
78
123
Germany
I will tell you what I would do.

First of all I would go for your first two goals so unless your knowledge in ML and Data science is already good enough to work in this field I would look for a good paying full time job in the area you know.
Then I would use every penny left to either pay my debts or invest in one side business (don't dance on too many weddings ... not all of us are Elon Musk and can work for 20 hours a day...)
And then you can still work to improve your parents business although I don't get how you want to improve it (will that take a lot of time a day?)

When it comes to goal number 3 you might never know if and how long it might take to reach that much money in profit. Don't focus on the income part ... take what you have got (money from your job) and focus on giving value through your business... it might take more than 3 years to be successfull ...

And last but not least when you are looking for a relationship it plays in your favor if you don't live in your parents garage... I know many successfull entrepreneurs started like this but don't forget that they were 20 at this time and you are 35 ... so I would live for a maximum of one year in the garage and work like hell and then try to get a place for your own.

I hope my response didn't come up as too rude (it's not intended to be!) I wish you the best of luck for your decisions :)
 

p31

Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Jun 2, 2016
27
31
19
38
Hi @Lafandriel , Thanks for your $0.02, much appreciated.

It wasn't rude. I really appreciate another person's perspective, as I can't seem to distance myself from my predicament to make a right decision.

As for the family business, I really feel there are aspects that can make it separated out from time, making it possible to be run as an outsourced service if we pivot or branch out another offering. That's what I could do with my skillset. At least get somewhere.

As for the goal income, yeah I agree. I should focus on providing value (had a knee-jerk effect when I was typing actually). Focusing on providing value, intensely as much as I want the actual profit goals.

Yeah it is very embarrassing, to be 35 and living in a garage. But then again, my financial burdens forbid any large additional expenses, and it's really expensive to rent anything in our neighborhood. Hence lower in my priorities, albeit all important.
 

Lafandriel

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
May 28, 2017
38
78
123
Germany
What are your parents saying about the steps you want to take for their business? Are they ok with it? Maybe you should focus only on this next to your job... maybe your parents could support you financially afterwards so you could then focus on a side business...

Don't feel embarrassed by living in your parents garage as long as you use this time to improve your family's and your life it is worth it I am sure :) just don't do it forever (moving to a cheaper neighborhood would be a possibility)
 

dior616

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 9, 2017
29
40
31
Texas
Since you have so much debt I would probably get a full-time job over freelancing (calculate time and money ratio to see which is worth it) and play defense to tackle that. I don't know anything about cryptocurrency and all that jazz because it seems so trendy, so I would stay away from it personally. I would work on a business on the side as much as possible. Unless you have excellent time-management and can juggle that many priorities, I wouldn't focus on no more than TWO VERY IMPORTANT things, hell, one is really what you should focus on. So I think your student loans is your biggest priority, now dial down on what you need to do. I know Dave Ramsey gets flack here but I think you should play defense with his strategy and offense with MJ's.
 

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