Fresh out of college our CEO took a roadtrip across the country in a RV to interview successful people about their career paths. The excerpt below is from an interview with a real estate developer with a net worth north of $1B. From ages 22 – 26, he worked at a Safeway grocery store. At age 25, he decided that he wanted to try and build houses and never work for anyone else. He did one house. After that sold, he did two homes. Then four. Then ten houses. That’s how it all started.
Here is an excerpt from the interview.
If you could go back and tell yourself just one piece of advice at 22 years old, what would that one thing be?
Whatever you want to do, really go after it. Most people want security. And I would say, especially when you’re young, take a risk. What do you have to lose?
I mean, really go for it. I see kids your age that are 22 or 23 and they’re going to go in a profession that’s a standard thing. My advice is to try something else first. For me it would be so much more fun to do your own thing and create something versus going to law school and going to work for a firm. It just seems like the bottom. It just seems like a death to me.
I took the LSAT before I left on this trip.
It’s not a bad thing to do. But why? I’ve got an older daughter who is 26. She’s going to graduate school to get her PhD. I’m trying to talk her out of it. Friends are like, “Why would you talk your daughter out of getting a PhD? She’s going to UC San Francisco!” Because, you know, the more you get into this pigeonhole of what you can do with that.
Most people like that I guess. There’s security in that. But I wouldn’t go for security when I was 22. There’s plenty of time to get that. Go for what you like. You can always do the law stuff later.
I took the LSAT to appease my mother.
That’s another thing. Some of the family friends we have, their kids are doing what their parents are pressuring them to do. Whether it’s going to graduate school. It’s their parents problem because they’ll feel better if their kid has a law degree. I can tell my neighbors, my friends that my daughter or my son is doing that.
The kids don’t really want to do it. They’re not doing it with a passion. They’d really like to go do this other thing. They’ve told me that! I say, “Why aren’t you doing it then? Go do the other thing!”
You could go to law school in five years if you want. You can do that. Or get your law degree, pass your tests, and go do something else. Come back to it.
But life is for an adventure. What kind of adventure do you want to have?