Start a company when you are young. Take chances right out of college. When you’re single and the relative level of requirements on your life are low. Risk is a young person’s game. So if you think that you might ever want to start a company, take that risk before getting married, having a kid, or buying a house.
You might feel pressure when young from debt. You may feel that a stable job somewhere makes sense to pay those bills. But the requirement of stability from debt is nothing compared to being married, having a kid or creating a home. Add another person or two into the mix, and it becomes very easy to do the stable thing, and very hard to do the risky thing. Even if that risky thing is your dream.
Stability is a trap. A very comfortable trap and it’s oh so easy to get into. A great skill to learn early is being comfortable with instability. Not many people are good a thriving on random events. Fewer still are good at capitalizing on them.
Tonight (this is being written 11/1/2012) a friend asked me to be a co-founder of his company. This is a roll of the dice, dream opportunity. But I can’t accept. My life demands the stable job. It makes me wonder if I’ll have these kinds of chances again. The Zen answer is yes. But that is little consolation tonight.
[update] Actually I am co founding that company, despite my busy schedule… Don’t tell my wife.