Some people are lucky enough to know what career they want to pursue from an early age. Sometimes that’s owning their own company, and other times it might be gaining the education and experience to land their dream job at their dream company.
Some people, however, might think they know what they want to do only to have that desire shift halfway through an undergraduate or graduate degree. I’ve been there. I initially obtained a high school diploma in economics and then decided to pursue a law degree. After I got my degree, I realized that the law industry held no appeal for me. It was a rewarding experience, but I knew in my gut I had no true passion for it.
Whichever one of these applies to you doesn’t matter. What matters is that you let yourself be guided by your passions so that you end up where you want to be, in an industry that will provide you with the highest level of personal and professional satisfaction. For me: that was eventually owning my own business, even if the nature of that business fluctuated a few times over the years.
As time went on, I saw myself starting a consulting business. I eventually got into private banking, but quickly realized that I had no desire to navigate big-bank politics. Instead, I wanted a business that was built on — and influenced by — all of my own ideas, which led me to founding WETEC, my consulting firm that provides project management and financing services to companies in the Middle East.
My company wouldn’t exist if I didn’t let my early passion drive my professional development. Sometimes I try to imagine the what-ifs of what my life would be today if I hadn’t followed that path, but it’s difficult to even entertain those ideas because I don’t think there would have been an outcome where I didn’t turn my passion into a lucrative entrepreneurial opportunity.
I encourage you to do the same for yourself, especially if your dream is to start your own company. Being an entrepreneur demands an excitement, drive, and dedication that not many people are born with. If you have it, then you’ll soon have your own entrepreneurial story to share with others. Just don’t be hesitant about throwing yourself all-in to this venture.
Entrepreneurship is risky and financially unpredictable. Because of its uncertainty, I’ve seen people take on careers they don’t like because they think they have no other choice if they want to support themselves or their family. I get it, but it’s a sad mentality to witness.
You have to be willing to take risks. You have to be willing to push yourself far outside of your comfort zone. You have to have enough grit to survive the hurdles and challenges that will test you along the way. But, believe me, it’s worth it when you can look back and see the framework you’ve built along the way. Saying “I did this” is worth the reward, no matter how long it takes for you to get there.