Personal, Starting up

The Ghost


Many people know that entrepreneurship is hard and that founders all pay the psychological price of entrepreneurship. Rand Fishkin, Co-founder of MOZ, calls his mental cycle of train wreck The Loop. I have a Ghost.

I wrote this back in December 2013:

The Ghost

Instead of a loop, I have a ghost.

The ghost creeps up on me when I’m not watching – then it consumes me.

Instead of keeping my eye on the prize, focusing on that tiny glimmer of light I call hope, the ghost makes me focus on the 99.99% of darkness that surrounding it. Loudly echoing “you aren’t good enough”, “you aren’t good enough”, “YOU. AREN’T. GOOD. ENOUGH”.

I do not like the ghost, but I know it’s not leaving.

I guess most founders, including myself, have high internal locus of control. We believe that change is possible, and we are the ones to make it happen. So when things don’t go well, it’s incredibly hard for me to not take it personally, or take it as an reflection of my self-worth.

But for now, I’ll lay the Ghost to rest.


Elisha Tan is the Founder of TechLadies. TechLadies is a community for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers in the tech industry. Elisha is also the Developer Programs Regional Lead for Asia Pacific at Facebook.