MidReal Story

Angel's Fortune: A Tale of Triumph and Betrayal

Scenario: I invested in a company at its angel round, and it quickly went public, propelling me to the pinnacle of my life.
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I invested in a company at its angel round, and it quickly went public, propelling me to the pinnacle of my life.
I thought I had my life all figured out until I found myself at a crossroads I never imagined.
I graduated from law school three years ago and, after passing the bar, I joined a mid-tier law firm in New York City.
The thrill of the legal world quickly wore off.
It was a good life, but it wasn’t the life I wanted.
Instead of arguing in courtrooms or negotiating deals, my days were spent buried in paperwork and performing task after menial task that an intern could do with her eyes closed.
Everyone assured me that it was just what first-year associates did.
They promised me that I would move up and have more responsibility and more interesting work soon enough.
But as the weeks became months and the months turned into years, I was still doing the same work and I was bored out of my mind.
I had to admit to myself that it wasn’t just the job—it was me.
I had never been one to shy away from a challenge.
I had always loved to learn new things and to push myself to be better than I was yesterday.
I wasn’t doing that here.
That wasn’t to say I wasn’t doing good work.
In fact, I was one of the best associates at my firm when it came to billable hours and efficiency.
It seemed like the more work I was given, the faster I could churn through it all, without sacrificing quality at all.
My superiors were impressed with me and praised me for my hard work.
I had even earned a few bonuses for my dedication to the job.
But none of that mattered to me.
I wanted more out of my job than just praise and a bigger paycheck.
With each passing day, the urge for something more grew stronger until it consumed my every waking moment.
Every time I closed my eyes at night, I dreamed about what else I could be doing with my life if only I would walk away from this dead-end job.
The idea of leaving behind the safety and security of my current position was terrifying.
But continuing on the path I was on was even scarier.
As it turned out, I wasn’t alone in feeling this way.
When I started talking to other friends and colleagues about how unhappy I was in my current role, many of them echoed my sentiments exactly.
They too felt trapped in their jobs and were desperately trying to find a way out as well.
Their encouragement and support were exactly what I needed to finally make up my mind to do something about it.
I didn’t know what new job would make me happy, but I knew it was time to leave law behind me and try something new.
My first thought was finance because I enjoyed dealing with numbers and money, but everything else was up in the air at this point.
When I told my friends and family about my decision, they were both excited for me and worried about me at the same time.
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My parents told me that they would support whatever decision I made but asked me if I was sure that this was what I really wanted to do.
My best friend, Alex Thompson’s girlfriend, suggested that perhaps I was just burned out and needed a short vacation instead of a new job.
Even my older brother Michael weighed in on the situation too when he heard that I was considering quitting my job without having a new one lined up.
“I know you hate your job right now, but it isn’t like you at all to quit without having something else lined up,” Michael told me when we went out for drinks one night after work last week.
“I agree with Alex’s girlfriend—maybe you just need a little time off to relax.”
“I tried taking a day off last week and all I thought about was how much happier I would be if it was a permanent vacation,” I told him with a small smile.
Michael shook his head at me when he saw that I was serious about this.
“I don’t know what happened to you,” he said, “but you used to be the smart one in our family.We always knew you would go on to bigger and better things while Mom and Dad and Mark and I stayed here in Colorado.”
“I’m still smart, Michael,” I told him, knowing that he was just concerned about me.
His heart was in the right place, even if I didn’t appreciate his tone of voice or his words.
“I just want something different out of my life than what I have right now.”
“But you have such a great job,” Michael protested, “and you worked so hard to get there.”
“It isn’t about how hard I worked or how much money I can make,” I told him, “I need to be happy too.”
“I know, Em,” he said, “but sometimes we need to make sacrifices to do what is best for us—and this might not be it.”
“You’re just worried that I’m going to quit my job and then realize that I made a big mistake,” I told him with a smile, “but that isn’t going to happen.I’ve already spent too much time at this job.”
“Then why don’t you ask for a transfer instead of quitting?”
Michael suggested as he sipped his beer.
“The firm has offices all over the country—maybe you would like it better somewhere else.”
I shook my head at him, my blonde hair flying around me as I did so.
“No matter how much I like New York City, moving won’t make me enjoy this job any better,” I told him, “and I’m done doing work that doesn’t challenge me anymore.”
“You’re only making this decision because you want it to work out with Alex,” Michael accused me as he pointed his finger at me across the table.
“If you weren’t dating him, you would never have considered walking away from your job like this.”
It was true that dating Alex had changed things for me—especially over the last year when he decided to start his own venture capital firm—but it wasn’t like Michael thought it was.
I had met Alex during my second year of college, and we had been dating for nine years now.
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He was my best friend, my partner in crime, and I was completely in love with him.
When he decided to quit his job to start his own firm, I had been 100% supportive of his decision.
I was also thrilled when he asked me to invest in his company, even though I didn’t know anything about finance.
At first, I thought it was a high-risk move, especially since I didn’t have any other investments or savings, but Alex was an innovative genius, and I knew that he was going to make it work.
I trusted him.
He was also my friend, so I knew that he would never invest my money in something too risky.
In fact, in just a few years, my investment had more than tripled, which was more than what I could have hoped to make in a year at my current law firm.
I was grateful to Alex for giving me that opportunity—and I was glad that I took it.
But my decision to leave the legal world behind wasn’t only because of Alex.
It was about me too.
I had tried to leave law school once before, after my first year, and I had loved it when I came back.
I loved studying and learning, even when it was hard.
I thought that if law school had been so easy for me, then being a lawyer would have been too.
But it wasn’t.
And it wasn’t just because of my job—although that was a big part of it.
The transition from law student to lawyer had been much harder than I expected.
I had underestimated how different it would be: different expectations, different people—different everything.
At first, I had thought that maybe I had made a mistake by going back to school, but now I know that I had made the right decision—with a different major at least.
I had thought that leaving law wouldn’t be nearly as hard as going back—and I was right about that.
After all, it wasn’t like I had spent three years learning about investment banking like Alex—I only needed a few months to learn everything that I needed to know for my new job.
The change wasn’t difficult either.
I had been working with Alex for almost a year before he opened his firm, so I already knew everyone there and they knew me too.
My boss was also my friend’s best friend—he was probably mine too—so we already had a great relationship.
The only thing that turned out to be harder than expected was the job itself.
It wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.
My first months at the job had been tough—I had never worked so many hours before—and it took me a while to get used to it and find my rhythm.
But I didn’t mind the work itself at all.
In fact, I loved what we were doing there—I loved helping small companies grow and reach their full potential—and I didn’t mind putting in the hours required for it either.
I also loved that Alex believed in me enough to give me a job there—and I didn’t want to disappoint him either.
So I did everything that he asked of me without complaining once—even when it meant working late at night or during weekends.
And even though it took me some time to figure out how to do everything right, I organized myself well enough that nothing ever fell through the cracks.
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