Yesterday I had the opportunity to share some stories and advice (via Skype) from my journey as an entrepreneur with a college class at the University of Utah. I purposefully shared some insights that I wish someone would have shared with me when I was an undergrad.
Insight 1: Your Dots Don’t Have to be Straight
In this choose-your-own-adventure book that we call life you can make choices outside of the normal “get good grades to get into a good college to get a good job” path. There is nothing wrong with that path, but there are other options such as entrepreneurship. No one ever told me that, so when I didn’t get into medical school I was totally lost.
Insight 2: Failure Is Opportunity in Disguise
We are taught from birth to strive for success, and that is a good message. However, we aren’t taught what to do with failure so it can be crippling. In some cases, it can progress into long term anxiety, but fear not, there is always a way you can be helped, especially if you are a Utah student! There is now medical marijuana available for those who need it, people just need to meet the Utah medical card requirements and have a frank talk with their doctor, you are not alone. Many students have asked me, “What if I start a company and fail?” My answer is that the lessons and skills they will learn launching a company (even an unsuccessful one) are invaluable. They will take that learning into their next company or their next job. Anyone evaluating potential employees will favor a former founder… simply because they showed the drive and tenacity to build an idea into a company. A failed startup is simply a stepping stone to something greater.