Every now and then, my dad still likes to ask me whether I’d like to be a doctor or a lawyer, despite the fact that I’m one month away from finishing my undergrad in business. I’ve done a few things to journey away from what he would considere a ‘sound decision’ in his time – the first in studying for a non-professional career, and the second and most recent in opting to not pursue a desk job, but an entrepreneurial life instead. One more ambitious surprise and I just might give him an ulcer.
Over dinner tonight, he told me that in his day, the best opportunities for young adults like me would have been in either finding a secure job with the government (which you would work for your entire life), or in investing in further education. Along with an earlier conversation over the possible future return on my $40,000 university investment with my close friend and business partner Satish, I was intrigued to consider exactly what I have gained by taking ‘the road less traveled’.
I call it ROE: Return on Entrepreneurship. It is the sum of benefits, tangible or not, that have resulted in one’s dedication and commitment to an entrepreneurial way of life. (this includes the freelancers!)
Here’s some of my ROE after 3 years and 9 months:
- I have learned the value of proper client relationship management and more importantly, how to do it
- I have met and worked with some of the most innovative and talented individuals in the realm of marketing and design
- I have seen the world from the little guy’s perspective so that I can appreciate the hard work it takes to be the bigger guy (a perspective I’ve yet to attain)
- I have grown respect for people with an eye for design and the business sense to apply it effectively in the context of marketing
- I have realized that managing people is an art, not a science
- I have learned how to run a business with nothing more than a website and some love
- I have given myself the opportunity to do something I am passionate about everyday
What’s your Return on Entrepreneurship?