What if you don’t want a traditional career? You might be someone who just graduated from college and none of the jobs you’ve been offered excite you. Maybe all of your friends are enthusiastic about starting their careers, but you just can’t face the idea of doing that every day for the next fifty years. Perhaps you graduated a few years ago and took a job that everyone else thought would be great, but, actually hasn’t been for you. Or maybe you’ve been working for a while, but that thing everyone promised you – you’ll love it once you really get into it- never materialized. What if you’re stuck? What if you think there should be something more?
There could be something more. But you have to be willing to take a big gulp and explain to your parents – or your friends – or your spouse – that you know you have financial obligations, but you need to have more in your life. You need to be fulfilled. You need to follow your heart. You need, for once, in order to flourish, to do something that is not practical, something that doesn’t make sense to anyone but you. Traditional
I just wrote a book: Raising an Entrepreneur – How to Help Your Children Achieve Their Dreams – 99 Stories from Families Who Did. I interviewed seventy thriving entrepreneurs, all of whom took the road less traveled. They were a very diverse group: half men, half women, of every race, religion, socioeconomic background, family type, and education level. Some dropped out of college to start a company. Some graduated and started a company or an organization that their friends thought was not worthy of their time. Some took a normal job for a few years before they realized they couldn’t do that anymore and quit. They are now all leading happy, fulfilled lives. Traditional
Matt Mullenweg started a little company when he was still in college. Even though education was really important to his family, he finally decided there weren’t enough hours in the day for everything he wanted to do. He dropped out a few credits short to work on WordPress. Today, it powers over forty percent of all sites on the web. Traditional
John Arrow also dropped out of college a few credits short of graduating to work full-time on the company he co-founded in school with four friends, Mutual Mobile. Most of his other friends thought he was making a big mistake. But by the time he was in his mid-twenties, his company had over two hundred million in revenue.
Nyla Rodgers had been working for large international aid organizations, like the United Nations, when her mother died. She had an opportunity to go to Africa, where she saw the impact her mom had had with the fifteen hundred dollars she had raised for a town that used it as a community bank. Ten women had started businesses from the money her mom had raised and had put the profit back into the community, which had been transformed. She decided to change course and start a non-profit in her mom’s honor, Mama Hope, to produce community-led change. To date, it’s raised almost three million dollars to fund over three hundred projects in nine countries. Traditional
When Maimah Karmo was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer when she was only thirty-two years old, she realized that most breast cancer organizations focused on older women. She decided to quit her job and start a non-profit to help young women with breast cancer. Today, Tigerlily Foundation has raised more than two million dollars and helped more than eight hundred thousand young women. Traditional
Don’t be afraid. Of course, it won’t be easy. Of course, you will make mistakes. But they will be bumps on your path to success. And maybe the first thing you try won’t work out. Or even the second thing. But eventually, you will get there. You will find work to do that brings you joy…enables you to live a life of purpose…all the while waking up every morning with enthusiasm. I’m excited about your journey. Traditional
About the author
Margot Machol Bisnow is a writer, wife, and mom from Washington, DC who speaks on raising fearless, creative, entrepreneurial kids who are filled with joy and purpose. She is the author of Raising an Entrepreneur: How to Help Your Children Achieve Their Dreams — 99 Stories From Families Who Did. Margot has a BA in English and an MBA, both from Northwestern and spent 20 years in government, including as an FTC Commissioner and staff director of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. Both her kids are now grown: Austin started a popular band, Magic Giant; Elliott founded Summit, a noted international conference series for Millennial entrepreneurs and creatives, and led the purchase and development of Powder Mountain ski resort in Utah as a permanent home for the Summit community. Her husband Mark was a late-blooming entrepreneur and wishes his parents had read her book when he was growing up, so he might have started his company before he was 50. Margot is on the Board of Capital Partners for Education that mentors low-income DC-area high school kids. Traditional
By Margot Machol Bisnow, author of Raising an Entrepreneur – How to Help Your Children Achieve Their Dreams – 99 Stories from Families Who Did