Last week, I paid rent for the first time in a year and a half. I had paid rent (and for most of the time, a mortgage) for over 15 years prior to this. However, this payment felt different. This payment was made with money I earned as a full time entrepreneur.
I didn’t plan on living in my parents place for over a year and a half, but the circumstances worked out well. There are many ways where the Asian/Asian American culture hinders entrepreneurship (I’ve even started a support group called EntreAsians), but there are also ways where it helps. As in many other cultures, unconditional love of family is huge. My parents didn’t charge me rent, and probably would be borderline offended if I had offered to pay. They only allowed me to treat them dinners a few times, and only after I convinced them it was just a small amount. My time back in my home town and in my parent’s guest room allowed me to reduce my burn rate to almost zero as I struggled to create a business capable of supporting me.