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There's a lot of excellent advice in this thread, but I think I can sum most of it up by saying that the primary thing you need to do for yourself is spend more time way outside your comfort zone. It's fine to be learning geeky hobbies, coding, reading hacker news, etc... but that alone is not enough to be successful in life. You need to broaden your experiences and learn about things that seem to have nothing to do with what you think you're interested in. It allows you to recognize new trends and opportunities. I guarantee this will come in handy some time down the line. I always think of the story that when Steve Jobs dropped out of college, he went and sat in on a calligraphy class. Why on earth would a geek need that? Well, years later when Apple was building the first Macintosh he was able to draw on that knowledge when they were figuring out how to support fonts (http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html). I experienced this in my own life. I wanted to be a biologist, so I really got into my science courses taking extra biology classes my senior year. On the side, I dabbled in various computer-related activities, but I always felt like that was taking away time from my important biology stuff that would eventually be my career. When I got to college the field of bioinformatics started to emerge, and I realized I could use my biology skills with my computer hobby. Suddenly, all that time I thought I had "wasted" playing around with computers became my career. You just never know what the future holds.

Finally (and this is major), speaking as a fellow (reformed) introvert: you have a huge, gaping problem to address. You need to be able to easily and freely communicate and socialize with people. This is not some warm, fuzzy BS. It's a real life skill you have got to master. It's hard. It's painful. It's embarrassing at times. But, you have to do it. In "Hackers and Painters", Paul always talks about having the wind at your back in startups. Mastering social skills is an awesome hack that gives you the ability to make your own wind. People who can really network and socialize get things other people don't. That's a fact of life. Many introverts complain that this isn't fair. I always did. The reality is, social interaction is a pretty easy hack to get what you want in life compared to most other methods. It's worth the time and effort required to build up the skill. If you're hopelessly clueless how to interact with people, you could start off by reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People".




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