Fresh out of university, I chose to start a business instead of following the conventional path of joining the workforce. My mom was furious. I was young, I was inexperienced. By society’s standards, I should be going out to work. It’s been 5 years since I made that fateful decision and thankfully, I have no regrets. In fact, I’ve finally found the words to tell my story and I hope it helps you in one way or another.
Begin with the End in Mind
As graduation approached, I forced myself to think deeply and critically about what I wanted to achieve in life. When I turn 90, I would like to say that I have led a happy, fulfilled, and successful life. How does that look like, and how do I get there?
Imagining myself at 90 helped to put a lot of things into perspective. If I had gone out to work, I would end up with a pretty comfortable life – a stable salary, a nice house, and plenty of fancy vacations. But, I didn’t want to just live a “pretty comfortable life”. I wanted to create something that I could call my own, something that I could call my legacy. That would be a pretty exceptional life.
The Ability to Create Your Own Rules
Once I decided that I wasn’t going to go by the conventional path, everything I thought I knew about society and its rules were thrown out the window.
For starters, I could choose where, when, and how I wanted to work. I rented an office close to my home so I could spend less time traveling. I worked on weekends so I could keep my weekdays free for running errands and avoiding the crowds. When necessary, I worked 14-hour days. But when I felt the need to recharge, I simply took the day off.
I also set my own pace. I was determined to achieve my goals within my timeframe. I questioned many of the rules set by our society. If something usually took 10 steps to get done, I’d asked if it could be done in 5. “The way things have always been done” did not feel like it applied to me anymore. I set my own rules, I chart my own future.
Time versus Money
Ultimately, I saw starting my own business as a long term investment of my time. Instead of clocking in day after day to earn a fixed pay check, I was building equity. Every minute of my time spent bettering my business today, would pay off multiple times in the future.
I’m not saying “don’t trade your time for money” – don’t be misled. There’s no such thing. In choosing to pursue my own business, I’m still putting in the hours. But when I go to work each day, I’m striving to trade my time now, for even more money in the future. All I need then is patience and determination.
My goal is to ultimately achieve financial freedom earlier than if I had taken the conventional path. And hopefully, accumulating exceptional experiences as I go. Cheers!