Entrepreneurship 101

February 12, 2010

As corporate distrust continues to grow during this Great Recession, some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs will evolve and employ thousands of other young entrepreneurial minded employees. However, many will continue to lose their jobs, savings and status.

As the son of a small business owner, I can always remember my father saying, “…don’t ever let a paycheck control you. If you work for perfection and like the actual business owner, your career will take off and the money will chase you, no one can ever control your future.” Fortunately for me, I was blessed to receive such a second education growing up. I remember admiring the highly successful self made millionaire business owners in Chicago during my late teens. Their reputation, respect, and status were incredible that teachers, financial planners, and even politicians sought their advice!

If you think about it, every person will inevitably require managing money. Credit, money management, and savings discipline are all an everyday and integral component for operating a successful adult life. So how is it our youth not receive basic and consistent financial education? Believe me, I agree that history, science, mathematics, and language arts are important, but in my opinion, money management is more important.

Our youth are taught to secure a good paying job that provides health insurance, vacation pay and a retirement package. Currently, so many of our recent college graduates are sitting at home scouring Craig’s List for jobs after receiving a four year education from some of our best schools. If they were smart, they would offer to work for free or for minimal pay at the companies that provide the best opportunity for growth. But, unfortunately, our culture would find such outrageous.  I can promise you that some of our greatest entrepreneurs or even corporate leaders (entrepreneurs in their own right) never worked for money during their early days. Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, media mogul, offered to work for free at his first record label internship after understanding the opportunities. The rest was history.

After leaving DePaul University in 2003, I remember thinking that I would be the best in whatever was asked of me at my place of work. I was so hungry to succeed that if someone asked me to eat a rock, I would ask for mustard with it. As long as the opportunity was there, I was taught to just hustle. After saving every penny, cutting out all distractions, living modestly, praying and seeking good mentorship, I became a self made millionaire at the age of 24 (praise God).

America is the greatest country in the world. It rewards the forward thinkers regardless of status, education, and religion.  During your 20’s, the typical burdens of running a family are absent and risk taking is easier, therefore stop working for money and seeking well paying jobs, but seek career opportunities, not a job. This mentality will completely change the course of your life forever.