“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”
If there was a sentence that could describe Ethan Sherbondy’s journey as a founder so far, this stoic quote from Jerzy Gregorek, an Olympian weightlifter, sums it up well.
It wasn’t that he didn’t have the skills to start his venture, or he had no desire.
Quite the contrary, he has always been displaying entrepreneurial tendencies and was constantly encouraged as a kid to push boundaries and explore the unknown.
“My father himself was an entrepreneur, and my mother displayed more grit than most people I’ve ever met,” reflects Ethan, “They were my first personal inspirations and role models on branching out on my own.”
Growing up, he began experimenting with a broad range of projects from trying to “empirically” evaluate the readability of different fonts on the web, creating a tool that could generate different passages of text at a wide variety of sizes, spaces, and typefaces, to designing themes on Tumblr.
At university, he secured internships at technology companies like Apple, Bump Technologies, and Formlabs. He also co-founded Spokes America, a non-profit group of college students who biked across the country to deliver interactive lessons to help middle-and-high-school students with their STEM subjects.
Yet when it came to making that ambitious decision, to take that leap of faith to start his startup, to live life on his terms, there was always that imaginary, unspoken inertia from within, something that held him back.
“I have to complete that reputable degree. I need to pay off my hefty student loans. I’m already working in a fast-growth technology company,” he would have a list of reasonable and seemingly responsible excuses.
He was making the easy decisions but was never truly fulfilled.