I’ve been at a conference on the Gold Coast of Queensland for the last two days on the commercialization of Intellectual Property.
Last night I got talking to a young PhD student who is trying to figure out what to do with his life. He registered for the conference because he is looking for a direction. He is obviously very bright – in his final year of his PhD at the tender age of 24 – he’s have to be pretty together, you’d figure. However, he is like many people at that age, trying to figure out what he really wants to do in life…
There are so many really incredible things that one can choose to do. The problem is when you are faced with such a smorgasbord of choice, what do you do?
Before the conference started I met with someone who I had spoken to on the phone a few times, who has a start up business. He too is trying to figure out what to do. He comes at the problem with quite a different point of view. In his 40′s, already made enough money to retire to the beach, and came up with an idea of an online service/product. Several years later and several tens of thousands of dollars, he has realized that to really pull off his idea will take a lot more money and a lot of effort.
His problem is that he has been living on the beach long enough to not want to have to go back into the cut and thrust of doing pitches to prospective investors and to then have to report to his investors on how their investment is traveling. He was hoping for me to do the job for him…
But that isn’t what I do nowadays. My interest is in helping other people understand what it is that they need to do in order to get the process going – to become investor ready.
Both of the people in these two scenarios are very similar in some respects. They are both at that point where they feel that whatever they choose to do they are going to be committed to for a long long time. That is true. But non-decision is a decision in and of itself.
The truth is that all roads lead to your final destiny. Much better to go on a lengthy circuitous route that gives you lots of experience along the way that you can tell stories about in your old age, that be in one spot all your life with nothing to look back on…
To both these characters, my advice is: Get started. You never know where it will lead. And it might be fun.