This is my first foray into the world of blogging and it really brings me to a common question you hear posed to children all the time.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be a businessman!” says the little boy with a primal glint of hunger in his bright eyes. That faint touch of light betraying his innate need for something so enormous he cannot yet grasp the meaning of it.
Before I came to Wharton, I always thought that a business man was an entrepreneur. I never consciously realized that there was any difference between a businessman and an entrepreneur. I never considered any of my ventures or activities as a teenager as really pertaining to a seperate category called entrepreneurship.
So initially, it was a bit disillusioning to come to a finance/banking oriented environment, one that so commonly dominates the ivy clad hallways of the elite east coast schools, after growing up with swirling images of people like Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen, and others filling my head. These guys were captains of industry.
They were innovators.
They were leaders.
They were businessmen.
Banking and finance is not business! Entrepreneurship is true business!
Yet now I’ve learned that the phrase, “to each his own”, really does apply. Whereas some find their calling in the New York rooted banks and hedge funds, others find their dreams out in the sunny tech buzzed skies of California. The technology and startup world cannot exist without the finance culture that so many entrepreneurs loath and look at with scorn.
So at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what industry or area you go to. Weather it’s finance, consulting, non-profit, technology, or anything else, If you want to be a businessman, make sure you create value and benefit the world around you. And remember, that at the end of the day all that matters is the persistence, vision, and passion with which you embrace life.
A once little boy hits the pavement running. Eyes. Glinting.