Careerography (part 1)
Disclaimer: this is an attempt for me to understand my “career” path, and by no means represents a bio…I of course left some very important stuff and people out. I also left out a few jobs I had throughout high school, but I guess I didn’t feel as if I needed to include them. If you want to know, ask…
I love business, or perhaps I love ideas more. I’m continually amazed how a thought in someone’s head can become a massive company pleasing millions of customers, providing stability and opportunity for millions of employees, and create millions or billions of dollars in wealth for shareholders. Everything human made in our lives, everything that makes our lives easier and more exciting, started as an idea. Your car, your computer, your cell phone, your clothes, your shoes, your meals…etc, these all were at one point only thoughts in someone’s head. How much has their thought changed your life?
I have lots and lots of ideas that will change lives. Now I’m working on translating thoughts in my head into things that make a difference. People often wonder what the hell I’m doing right now, and how I got here. Well I’ll start from the top….
I grew up in the perfect learning household (let me explain). My dad, although never a great student, was what I would call a “passionate learner,” or someone who absorbs information on subjects that interest him. For him those subjects were predominantly 4 things, 1.) crime/police related issues 2.) war history 3.) Gadgets! 4.) business (more specifically entrepreneurship, business history, current business events, investing, and just about anything that related to his money, especially tax laws etc). On the other hand I had my mother, who was obsessively curious about everything (except business and money really). She really could answer just about every question I had growing up (you know how kids are with their questions…why,why,why,why). So I had the perfect environment to learn about this crazy world, and even more importantly I was shown an excitement and passion for learning new things and asking questions. I think I was also blessed genetically to get my dad’s passionate learning skill, the ability to absorb things I’m interested in, and my mom’s boundless curiosity about the universe around us, which means I’m interested in a whole heck of a lot of things and can quickly learn a lot about them.
Growing up, I asked a lot of questions about a lot of things, especially business. It was (and still is) pretty common for my dad and I to sit down in a restaurant, walk into a store, read about a new company, and quickly break down the business model (we often even did math of potential revenue numbers). I loved it, and quite frankly couldn’t get enough of it. I subscribed to fortune at the age of 14, obsessively read Newsweek, read about the stock market online daily, as well as watched CNBC (dork!).
Because of my seemingly growing business competence and understanding at that time, my parents gave me the opportunity to actively manage and invest some inheritance money. I of course couldn’t get enough of it, often spending hours and hours researching companies and stocks. I even would take my dad’s old pager to school because it gave updates of the markets every 15 minutes or so. Now I have to say, that yes that time was insane for investing (I’m talking the “bubble”), but I didn’t do too bad for a 14-18 year old, and I learned a whole hell of a lot about how companies work and make money. But then I went to college, and the bubble burst….
So my interest waned in business for a little while, but I still cared a whole lot about the stock market. In the summer of my freshman year of college, I decided I wanted to learn more about working in the financial services industry, so I set out to get an internship. But I was disorganized, and didn’t make this decision until I had about a week of school left, so needless to say all the “traditional” (through school mainly) options were off. I really wanted my dad to step up and just find me a job through some of his connections, but ultimately I’m really happy he didn’t. I instead went through the phone book and picked out numbers to just about every financial services company I could find in the Cincinnati area, and called them to ask “are you interested in an intern?” or something along those lines. Of course most weren’t, but a few were interested and amazed I just called and asked. Ultimately I ended up with a sweet gig at Lincoln financial, where I learned, made great money, and even more importantly realized I was NOT interested in that field at all. Back to the drawing board….