An entrepreneur sailing through the storm

May 13, 2020

Here I wanted to write. I wanted to tell my story. Share my worries with you. Be authentic. Probably the only thing I am great at. Probably too much. I say too much sometimes. “You are too much yourself” “You should tone it down sometimes”. But is there such a thing than being too much of yourself? Is there such a thing than toning yourself down? What does it even mean? If there is a way, well I don’t wanna know about it. But then it becomes tricky depending on what you choose to do in life. I chose to be an entrepreneur. Build my own future. I chose to create. Not only for me but also for others. Mainly for others. I chose to do something significant with my life. I chose to dedicate it to a cause very close to my heart. But did I really choose it myself or was I conditioned to do it? They say, whatever you go through in life shapes you into becoming and doing whatever you end up doing. I agree. To some extent. See, the way I see things is as follow. We are all put in this life for a purpose. Some of us spend their lives looking for it with no success. Others are not even aware that there is a purpose. Some find it too late and die before fulfilling it. The most fortunate find it early and chase it until they succeed. I found my life’s purpose. Will I succeed? Am I among the fortunate ones? Only time will tell. It’s difficult. It’s fucking hard. I probably never felt something similar in my entire life. And yet, I am only 24. What do I know about life? You’d be surprised. Yeah, the image doesn’t give you half of the story. Not even a third. There is so much more to it and people tend to forget. What you see is not reality. It’s an illusion. Everything around us is an illusion. Some are created by people, some by the universe. But you don’t know. And you will probably never will. That’s the magic of it. Magic. I love this word. I see magic everywhere. See, I was brought up in chaos. Total chaos. And yet, I still see the magic in it. This is probably what is keeping me sane. Or making me insane. What’s the difference anyway? I had a beautiful childhood, loving parents, amazing siblings. But again, is there such a thing as the perfect family picture? Why are you talking about this? You shouldn’t. Yeah probably.

My brother is Autistic and so what?

My older brother is Autistic and I love him to death. But it wasn’t always easy. It still ain’t easy. It’s hard. It’s fucking hard. I used to be ashamed. Shame on me. See, where I grew up, we had this thing called “taboo”. “Taboo” was ruling our lives. There were some things you were not allowed to talk about. Some ways we were not supposed to behave. Some things you were not allowed to do. The reason? It was all about other people. The image. “Oh, but what are people going to think?” “You can’t study philosophy at uni, what are people gonna say?” “Don’t go out in your pyjamas, what if someone sees you?” “Don’t say this, what are people going to think of you?” “We can’t go there with your brother, people will stare.” Well, fuck what people think. Fuck the people who stare. Big time. Life isn’t about others. Let them think whatever they wanna think. So what?

Yeah, my brother is autistic. Yeah, he is struggling. Yeah, we are all struggling with him. And yeah, it hurts seeing him hurt. It hurts seeing him sad. It hurts seeing him frustrated. And yeah, it’s tough staying tough. But see, there is nothing wrong with him. It is society that is fucked. There is something fundamentally wrong in the way things are constructed. In the way some people think. It’s disgusting. See, being autistic is not being disabled. It is not a handicap. Being autistic is simply being different. Seeing the world from a different lens. What do I know? I know because I see the world differently as well. I have ADHD, which I discovered recently. I have been struggling as well. But havn’t gone through anything near what my brother had to go through. I was lucky enough to seem “normal” to other people. Is there such a thing as being normal? Fuck being normal. What is normality? Who defined what being normal is? Whoever it was, they were probably wrong. The bullying. The laughters. The bad looks when in public. The nasty comments. The insults. The fear it has instilled in us. The shame it has instilled in us. The exclusion. The frustration. The suffering. Yeah, the wounds are still open. It is still bleeding inside. Will it ever stop? I don’t know. I highly doubt it. The cut is too deep. Way too deep. I didn’t even get stitches. And yet, before today, I have never said it out loud. I have never told anyone about how much blood I lost over the years and still am.

So, this is my answer to everyone that thinks that I am crazy for doing what I am doing. To everyone that thinks that I am wasting my time. That this is too big of a risk to take. To everyone, that thinks I shouldn’t have refused those 2 job offers in January. To all the people that think that I will never make it through this storm. You are wrong. Because as long as the blood is dripping from that cut, I will not stop. I will keep on going until I break this fucking wall that is standing in front of me. Brick by brick. With my bare hands if I have to. Let them bleed. I am used to blood. I will find a way. For those of you who are wondering what the hell I am talking about. I am talking about Neuros.

Neuros, banking for extraordinary brains.

Neuros is a digital bank that I am building, which is designed for Autistics and Neurodivergents. Beyond that. Neuros is a mission. A mission to bild a better furture for Autistics and Neurodivergents. Why finance then? Because, finance is at the heart of empowerement. Being financially independent is at the heart of empowerement. I might be wrong. But I am searching, looking, testing, until I find what's right. I have decided to dedicate my life and myself to it. Insane. Probably. I should get a job. We are in a recession. A depression. Save your ass. You don’t have any money. You don’t have a team. You don’t have a safety net. Fuck that. We all start somewhere. Yeah, I am going for it. I already took the jump. Either I build my own parachute or I die trying. Covid19 derailed my plans. But I re-railed them again. At least, I am trying. I learned and developed a prototype myself. Against all odds, I started user testing. What do I know? A couple of months ago, I thought that was impossible. No one knows anything at the start. We all think it’s impossible. 0 experience in product design. What the fuck is Figma? Well, I have learned. There is always a way. If you really want it, you will find it. I found it. I am still looking. I will continue looking until I make it. My aim with Neuros, is beyond only providing an adapted banking product. My aim is to empower. My aim is to help all of these people that feel or once felt like my brother. My aim is to help all of these people that feel or once felt like my family and myself. No one in this earth deserves to go through this much suffering. No one on this earth deserves to bleed this much. Because it fucking hurts.

Yeah, I don’t seem like I am suffering. But I have been suffering for years. I just decided to turn blood into sunshine. I decided to keep it for myself. Not to complain. Because, I am supposed to be tough, responsible, mature. Yeah, I had to be many things. So, I decided to only spread joy, happiness and sunshine. That’s how people usually refer to me, as their “sunshine”. Well, sunshine is made of fire. And this fire is made of blood. I am made of fire and blood. This is my purpose. It’s beyond just a passion. It’s beyond that. It is an unexplainable feeling. A feeling that is keeping me alive. But sometimes I wonder. I wonder, am I crazy? Am I insane? Can I really move things around? Can I have an impact? Will I be the person to shift the narrative? Who am I to do that? Did Elon, Bill or Steve feel the same? I am only human. They are also only humans. Sometimes, being human is enough.

Breaking the taboo around Neurodiversity

Very often, when talking about Neuros, people ask me: “Do you really think that your users will want to use a card that says Neuros on it? Won’t they be ashamed in front of others?” I usually reply “Why?” Then, they say “Well, there is still a big taboo around this. Some people don’t want to tell everyone that they are autistic or have ADHD because they are afraid of what others might think or how they would react.” Well, this is what I want to change. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. People that react badly or meanly should be ashamed of themselves. Not the other way around. Why should we be marginalized for being who we are? And this comes from someone that used to be ashamed. I used to be ashamed until I realized that the only thing I should be ashamed of was my shame. Being Neurodiverse means having superpowers. The world needs to recognize it. Our behaviours towards this need to change. We need more acceptance. More compassion. More empathy. More awareness. More understanding. This is what I am aiming for. It is a big challenge. But I am up for it. It needs to start somewhere. Sometimes I forget. Too many roadblocks. I wanna give up. It’s not easy. What am I even doing? Maybe I should stop. It’s still not too late. But then, sometimes, God sends you a sign.

And then, comes Marti.

God sent me a sign recently. His name is Marti. See, Marti randomly contacted me through Neuros’ website’s contact form. He has Aperger’s and loved what I was doing with Neuros. I had a call with him. We talked for an hour or so. 1h17mins to be exact. That call made my day. My week. Probably my year. What am I saying? It gave sense to everything that I am doing. Never someone has thanked me this much in my entire life. But for what? I never expected someone to thank me for this. I am not doing it to be thanked. I am not doing it for the money. I am not doing it for the fame. I am doing it because I wanna stop the suffering. Not mine. That’s a lost cause. I chose resilience. This is what’s keeping me going. Not everyone has the ability to. I want to slow other people’s bleeding. I want to prevent the suffering. Can someone even stop it completely? I don’t know. I hope so.

Neuros is about much more than just banking or fintech. Neuros is about much more than just my brother or my family. Neuros is about the 1bn Neurodivergents out there and their families. Neuros is about the unseen. It is about the “taboo”. It Is about the shame. It is about humans. It is about people. People like my brother. People like myself. People like my dad, my mom, my sister. People like Marti. I have never expected such as reaction. I unconsciously wished for it. But never expected it. Not so early at least. But Marti said it. He said “thank you for what you are doing”, he said “you are inspiring”. Truth is, he inspired me. He gave me hope. He reminded me that what I was doing had a meaning. It had a purpose. It is my purpose. And, I will do anything I can to fulfil it. Covid19 or not. Market crash or not. Whatever happens. It is hard. It is getting harder. But, as long as the blood is still dripping, I will still fight. And trust me, if this was a physical wound, I’d be dead by now. I am not. She’s a rainbow. The Rolling Stones said it.

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