It’s a crazy thing for most people, this whole “I want to start my own company” business. There’s no steady paycheck, no set framework for how to build it, and a huge risk that all of it will come crashing down. But for those of us bitten by the entrepreneur bug, all of that is worth it.
With zero interest in the typical path, I left a college scholarship in the dust to pursue my passions. Following a two-year stint playing European pro hockey and the longest two weeks of my life in software sales, I started Tru, a functional beverage brand.
Despite graduating from three accelerators, launching a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising capital from VCs and angels, and landing a pilot with a Fortune 500 company, we still have a ways to go.
Cathy Hughes, founder of Radio One, lived in a radio studio with her son to save money on rent.
Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, built her business while selling fax machines on the side.
Elon Musk slept in an office with his brother while they built their first Internet startup.
While it may freak others out to break into the unknown, we as entrepreneurs enjoy it. We like having to figure out how to build something, how to do something better than what’s been done before. I have been in credit card debt, seen my personal bank account flirt with empty more times than I can count, and skipped out on fun events with friends because I’m working 18-hour days.
Entrepreneurs make decisions that other people don’t understand; in my case, the decision to leave the traditional college path was one of them. These days, I think college reads more like a vacation -- have the best four years of your life with an all-inclusive resort-style getaway in a city of your choosing with a group of 18 to 24-year-olds. While it’s true that the unemployment rate among college grads is lower than among those without a degree, the costs aren’t necessarily worth it: the average Class of 2016 graduate has more than $37,000 in loan debt.
Meanwhile, 32% of the world’s billionaires are college dropouts. The rate of startup failure is high. We know that. But if you want to make a difference, solve a problem, do things a better way, the price of not trying seems like the biggest risk of all.
If you are interested in trying some of our great tasting Tru sparkling beverages, please visit our store.