Given how much I dreaded what I perceived to be the slow pace of high school, the idea of spending 4 more years in “higher education” to get my Bachelor of Science was downright sickening. But I knew I would do it anyway because it was an important step in my growth.
So I searched, and I searched – in order to find a College that would allow me to thrive as an entrepreneur. Eventually I found Bentley, a small private business university outside of Boston in Massachusetts, and it was a great fit. I majored in Finance, built my business from my dorm room, and by the time I graduated I had a thriving company with an office in Burlington, Mass.
Going back to Bentley
Every year since graduating, i’ve been invited to return to Bentley by Professor Jeff Shuman (www.rhythmofbusiness.com), to talk to his MBA students about my path to entrepreneurship.
In my most recent visit (Monday of last week), I realized just how valuable these visits have been for me because they give me an opportunity each year to stop and reflect on my entrepreneurial journey. During this year’s reflection, I recalled how excited I was when I started the multiple businesses that created the foundation for my company. The sky was the limit, and creativity, hard-work, and honesty were the only mandates I created for myself.
When I polled the students in attendance to see how many of them planned to join the entrepreneurial journey, either by starting a company, or by joining a smaller company early in its lifecycle (like mine!), 75% of those in attendance raised their hands. I’ve done similar polling in the past and only a handful of students raised their hands. This really fired me up. I wish I had the time to sit down with each one of them to start business planning.
Alignment of Values and Reality
As I left Bentley on Monday I thought that I should pinch myself because every time I walk into my office, I have the opportunity to be surrounded by people who are creative, hard-working, honest, and entrepreneurial in spirit… From our internal team… to our clients. Those are things I learned to value very highly in high school, and today, they are my reality. It was good to know that my values and my reality are in alignment.
I would highly recommend that everyone find time each year to do their own values/realities check-in.