A note to my future self..
I think that a lot of people are trapped thinking that they need more credentials to their job. They think that they need to go grad school, work a startup for 2 years, do this one thing before they actually do what they want. I think that in most cases this is extremely dangerous.
It’s dangerous not only because of the debt you might incur, the forgone $$, the overall opportunity cost, etc. but also because it means that fundamentally you do not trust yourself. This might not be a popular view but I think that in most cases people feel that they need to prove something to someone else and that they need experience to do X.
I do realize that in a lot of cases you do need experience to run certain groups/teams/organizations but in most cases I think that credentials are used as an artificial barrier erected in some cases by others but in most cases by yourself.
I also realize that my background might make me more likely to think this way given all the privileges and opportunities I’ve had growing up (e.g. I am a 22 white male). True. I also think that there parts of my background that make me a lot more likely to conform to the norm (e.g. immigrant in the US on a student visa, supportive yet conservative parents).
In any case I think that the key takeaway is that whenever you feel that you are not qualified take a step back and ask yourself whether that is really the case or is it a barrier that you’re creating for yourself?