How did I get from there to here? (The boring bits)
I first caught the entrepreneurship bug when I read a book about real estate investing in high school. Shortly thereafter, I attended a weekend seminar on entrepreneurship at a local university with one of my best friends. We both knew then and there that we wanted to own our own business. I was 17.
Like most wantrepreneurs, I eventually went to college and never acted upon the urge to start my own business (aside from a small, lawn maintenance gig I started in my hometown).
After studying finance and economics in college, I landed my dream job with a well-known investment firm prior to graduation, but soon became bored with the corporate lifestyle. So I returned to school on an all-expenses paid academic scholarship to get an MBA. Again, more finance!
It was during this time that I began doing a bit of original research, working as a grad assistant, and experiencing life as a budding academic; getting paid to learn and help others at the same time…what’s not to like?
Yet, upon completion of the MBA, I took another corporate finance job, only to get bored once again (I’m a glutton for punishment). Around this time a friend told me about a local community college that was looking for a business studies instructor–within a couple weeks, I had secured the position and began teaching courses on statistics, business law, intro to business, entrepreneurship, financial statement analysis, etc.
That was fun, but I wanted more.
So I went back to grad school again to pursue another degree, this time in divinity, at a local seminary, during which time I continued teaching business courses and held a role as a parish clergyman for four years. (I know, right?)
Once again, I caught the study bug, and moved to Europe with my wife (brave soul!) where I completed a PhD at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. (No, I don’t know Prince William; he and Kate graduated shortly before I arrived.)
I was fortunate to secure another position as a professor in Singapore prior to graduation, where I taught and lived with my family for two years. It was during this period that my entrepreneurial dream took off, and my life has moved on quite a bit since then, but I will share more about the details on the first episode of my podcast.
That decision to take action on my dream was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It took me just two months to exceed my income as a professor, but this really isn’t just about me, because I’m a firm believer that you can do it too.
Even if you don’t want to quit your job and become a digital nomad, do give yourself permission to start thinking about how you can use your current skill set to build a business.