The Immediate Needs

Business school tuition is a strong practical motivator to make first steps to starting a business. My program is extremely expensive and has caused concern for the amount of debt I would need to finance it. A better option would be to supplement the payment with additional income from a side business.

One way this could work is to earn and save the cost of tuition before payments are due on the loans. The total cost of the program is $200,000 and the first payment is due in 30 months. This would be closer to about $7,000 per month. Regular monthly payments on this loan would be approximately $2,500 per month which is what I can estimate to save from my primary income. This leaves average $4,500 per month. This seems like a lot but any portion of it would beneficial and acknowledging that the hardest part is going from zero to $10 rather than $10 to $1,000.

The values are less important than having numbers that provide short term useful purpose. It is a motivation that is more tangible and available than a ten year goal, but a mindset that will serve well after these immediate needs are met.

The Ten Year Goal

In my very first class session of business school, the very first activity the professor asked us to do was to write on an index card our one, five and ten year goals. The perspective he wanted us to take was of looking back from this time in the future and seeing all the steps we needed to take to get to that point. I am shocked that so far, this very first, seemingly obvious and predictable activity has had the most impact on me of anything else I have done recently.

What I was confronted with when filling out my card was that ten years from now I don’t want to be working for someone else’s company, far from it. I wanted to have made my friends rich.

This is an idea I ran across when talking with a colleague about the company Connectwise that, from my understanding, was founded, built and taken public in a thoughtful way that benefited customers, employees, and shareholders. The founder, Arnie Bellini, built a high quality business that is a net positive in the world and made his friends and early investors rich.

This struck me as the only point; why do anything else.

Starting and running my own business has been on my mind, but the activity in class put me in a perspective that to be there in ten years, it isn’t going to happen on its own. If I am serious about this I need to start taking steps or facing my life towards that goal.

This has caused me a great deal of cognitive dissonance. My excuse thus far has been that while I know a lot about how my company will run (what kind of culture we will have, some people who will work there), I don’t have an idea for what we will be doing or selling.

It seems that most people start with an idea, and I am starting with an index card of pretty general goals. The leap is that with these directions, the rest will follow.