The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about the idea of figuring out the answer to the question “who am I?”.

This is a question that we all ask ourselves at some point in our lives. However, in order for you to find yourself, you need to learn about yourself first. And this is no small feat. Figuring out who you are and what you want out of life can be challenging, and affects the kind of founder you will become.

In this episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on what this question means to them and share some tips that can help you answer the question.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic.

00:44 Steli’s thought on how to figure the answer to this question.

02:55 Why you have to ask and answer this question.

03:18 The impact our childhood has on us as adults.

04:26 How our experiences are changing as we grow older.

05:03 A quote that came to Steli’s mind.

05:43 Steli thoughts on being who you want to be.

06:18 The importance of acknowledging who you are at your core.

06:56 A big lesson Steli’s learned after arriving at the valley.

07:48 Hiten’s point of view on finding yourself versus defining yourself.

3 Key Points:

This is one of those things that most people will struggle with at one point or another.

Some of the choices we make might be right, but many tend not to be.

Don’t try to find yourself, define yourself.



Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah. Today on The Startup Chat we're going to talk about this idea of trying to figure out or figuring out, if you're lucky, the answer to the question who am I? We wanted to give you some thoughts on that. So, Steli?



Steli Efti: Yes.



Hiten Shah: How do we tell people to figure this one out?



Steli Efti: That's a good one. I don't know, so this is good question, right? I think this is one of those things that seems so obvious and people have heard so many times that I think it's easy to underestimate the weight of the question and the importance of finding the true answer to this in your life. I think it's one of those things that most people will struggle with at some point or another. I think when we're really young it's a really big central topic of our existence, right? Especially kind of like the ... At least it was for me and for most people that I observe kind of the teenage years are years that I feel like are centered all around the question of who the hell am I? And trying out different personalities and different lives. Being like, am I a sports person? Am I into music? Am I a cool kid? Am I a nerd? What are my interests? What are my hobbies? What is my tribe? What is my identity? I feel like those are the years that we're trying to figure out who we are. Then it seems to me that too many of us too quickly are getting attached to whatever story it is and we're just stuck there. Some of the choices that we do early might be right, but many of them might not be. A lot of people I'm not sure re-examine this often enough. What happens is that because we're all incredibly insecure, we usually look outside to find someone that seems to know what they're doing and we just think we need to be like that person to also be happy, successful, significant, whatever it is that we're aiming for. So I do think that most people maybe haven't answered the question truthfully and are suffering the consequences from it. That's my instant and initial response when you say, how do you figure out who you are? My first thoughts are that you have to ask the question again and really make sure that you have answered it correctly versus just being attached and stuck in an answer that you might have picked out when you were real...

Key points in this episode

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