Monday, November 1, 2004

Maybe It's Just Me...

Take any conversation that I have had with friends, family, or professors in the last few months...
Other Conversant: "Travis, what do you want to do after graduation if you don't take a job at a big company?"
Me: "Well, XYZ Person, I want to start my own company, go into business with a partner, or enter my family's business immediately after graduation. I would like to work there for no more than 5-7 years and build it to the point where I can walk away and still maintain a major equity position. At that point I think I will be ready to move onto the next thing."
Other Conversant: "But, Travis, what makes you think you can achieve "business succcess" so quickly? Many people that go into business for themselves have paid their dues and are now trying to get away from the corporate setting. Why do you feel that you do not have to pay your dues?"
There it is in a nutshell - the conversation I have on almost a weekly basis. Now to extract the critical phrase from the above conversation. Can you guess what it is? That's right: "paying your dues"
Don't get me wrong. I am not about to tell you that I am "above" paying my dues. Hell No. I have a problem with the conception that you have to pay your dues to a company before you can go out and then work for yourself. I think that paying your dues to yourself on your own business is much more valuable than paying your dues working 90 hours, 6 days a week for the better part of your young life in hopes to make partner. Not that there is anything wrong with that....but no thank you. I will pass. I would rather have that time be dedicated to working on my business, not somebody elses.
Robert Kiyosaki preaches that in order to become rich both finacially and personally you must "Mind Your Own Business". If you are working for XYZ Conglomerate, your check will stop coming if you stop going to work. If you don't save for retirement, you won't have any money to live on come retirement. Nobody is going to look out for your well being besides you. If
This brings us to the concept of leverage. Everybody has heard of financial leverage, well take that concept and apply it to regular business. As an employee you are being used as leverage for the owners of your company. They are getting paid on hours that they could not possibly garner together. This allows them to mind their own business by growing the very business that continues to make them money.
Maybe I am just being naïve, maybe it is near impossible to do what I am thinking about doing in the next few years. I don't think so however. I think that with an exit strategy and a timeframe you are naturally empowering yourself to make decisions in your business that allow you to move onto that next stage of your career what ever that stage may be.