The College Years

The College Years

A lot of people do what they have to do.  You want to get yourself to a position where you can do what you want to do.

-Chamillionaire

Believe it or not, Chamillionaire (the rapper) was actually referring to entrepreneurship and his next line had nothing to do with ghettos.  It was part of this interview.  Seeing it the other day reminded me of one of the themes of my working life; remember college.

Most people remember college with this reverence for a time long past.  They remember what it was like to go to classes that they had hand-selected in a major of their choice.  They recall what it was like to have a true bond with their classmates, not just in the classroom but at the bar.  They remember the care-free life before they were sweating mortgage payments, car payments, school loan payments, credit card payments, etc…  I don’t see why all of this has to go away.

The beauty of being an entrepreneur or working in a tight-knit startup is that you can choose your business much like you chose your classes.  Just because you have an idea about how to make some money, doesn’t mean you have to do it, you can wait for the next one.  Sure, there are going to be stressful weeks and months, but even your favorite college class had a final and in the end you were glad you had the experience.  You also get to pick your classmates.  A startup is a family, like the one you took all (or as many as possible) of your in-major courses with.  You can work with them every time, you can meet new friends in a new venture and either way you can head to the bar with them for some much needed R&R (well one R anyway).

As for being care-free, I go back to the golden handcuffs that I site on a fairly regular basis.  Before mortgage payments? car payments?  The reason you didn’t have those when you were in college is because you didn’t have a nice house and a fancy car.  If you’re willing to live without those, you can enjoy the same care free attitude you had in school.  Trust me, if you don’t spend money on those things right away, but apply your skill to being an entrepreneur in a field you truly enjoy, you’ll have them before long.  I’ve always believed that, in the long run, people can make the most money by working on what they truly love.

I’m not saying this kind of a lifestyle is for everyone.  It’s certainly not.  It’s more then a little bit selfish to live this way, particularly if you’re partnered with someone who isn’t, but I chose to write a couple thoughts on it because a lot of people forget that its even an option.