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My Failed Startup Almost Destroyed Me

Skipping Through Life

I let this toxic mind set control my life. It also deprived me of precious life moments and people I would never get back.

You tell yourself “don’t worry, keep going! Don’t lose focus on your dream! You’ll enjoy the rewards when you succeed.” You’re wrong. I learned this on the hardest way possible.

I am originally from a beautiful Caribbean island where the Dominican Republic is, but I live in Spain. Even though I love the old España, its people, and it’s the place I consider home since 2006, it really makes it complicated for immigrants to build companies here.

The struggle of being a startup founder is worse when you add the incredibly painful process of being an immigrant. But what it feels like to be a startup immigrant, the overcomplicated migration system here and the pain in Spain of being an entrepreneur are whole new subjects we can discuss in other articles.

Not only it’s been extremely hard for me to go through the Spanish migration process constantly, it seems like it never ends. In December 2012, I was not on top of it. I said to myself “It’s okay, I won’t be able to go home for Christmas, but I’ll fly there later, even for a more extensive period.”

Yes, I rationalized it in my head. Tickets were very expensive anyway, I could use that time to work on some things and I was permitted to renew my resident card later on anyway. I could do it later on and it’ll be fine. “Eyes on the prize, Rui, eyes on the prize.”

I WhatsApped my father telling him I was not going home, but not to worry, I’d be there in a few months to spend really quality time with the family. He then responded that he was very sad I wasn’t going to be there. By then, it had been more than a year since the last time we saw each other.

My father was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. In 2012 it seemed he finally won that long battle but then it came back a few months later. It never ocurred to me that it could’ve been fatal this time.

In January 2013, things got a turn for the worse. I tried to rush my papers to be able to fly home ASAP. Since it was during the holidays there was not much to be done to fix it.

And then it was too late. One evening my mom called me to tell me dad passed away. We thought he had a few months, I thought I had time.

I didn’t see him and I wasn’t there to say good-bye. I cheated myself out of more time with him thinking I could always do it later. Even if my startup would’ve succeeded, sacrificing that would’ve never been worth it.

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