On this first day of a new decade I was going through some old papers and I saw the original shareholder documents from a company I co-founded 20 years ago. I gave 6 years of my life to that startup and yet the value of my shares today would barely pay for a dinner on the town. Was it worth it? Wouldn’t it have been better to have had a normal 9-5 job, stable income and a regular contribution to a retirement fund?
Answer: Absolutely not! The reason is that the experience from the startup company taught me so much. It was an experience that opened my eyes to the fact that it is possible for an entrepreneur to create immense value and to have a lifestyle of freedom and independence. This was the startup that changed my beliefs forever and therefore put my life on a completely different and exciting path. Today the company is a successful market leader and even though my stocks got diluted in the process, I do have the satisfaction of knowing that I was part of something really special… and I learned alot in the process.
What are you going to do during the next decade? What will you attempt to accomplish? Remember that the most valuable thing is the learning, not just the earning.