Years before Ben Chestnut became co-founder and CEO of email marketing platform MailChimp, he was just another college student who didn't know what he wanted to do with his career.
During his junior year at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he realized he'd selected the wrong major. Pursuing physics, which he had done for half of his undergraduate career, no longer felt like the right choice. Neither did a career in the sciences.
"Physics taught me that I'm really bad at physics," he tells CNBC Make It, "that I really needed to find a new calling."
Choosing the wrong major is one of "a lot of mistakes" the Chestnut says he made in an interview at CNBC's iConic conference in New York. Those missteps, however, helped him get closer to figuring out how to take control of his work life.
"Your career, it's never just a linear line. It's usually something more like this —" he says, making a zig-zag gesture with his hand.