Note: I was asked to tell my “Startup Story” on the RidePost blog today. Even though it seemed unlikely just a few years ago, I was able to find my way to entrepreneurship through RidePost. I invite you to share any stories or thoughts you have of your own in the comments below – please enjoy and thank you for reading!
What I have heard frequently from people who were hesitant about starting their own business/startup is that they believe they do not have the skill set or background to be successful. I believe that anyone can be successful in the startup world regardless of background, so long as they are passionate about what they want to do and are fully committed to realizing their vision.
My family emigrated to the US from Bosnia & Herzegovina in the early 1990′s. As two former physicians from a communist country, my parents taught the value of stable jobs in time proven careers such as medicine and law. The notion of starting a new enterprise with little to no money was as foreign as we were our first days in the U.S.
Fast forward 15 years and I found myself in law school, studying corporate law and contemplating a future in a large firm or as in-house counsel in a large company. I was additionally considering business school to further improve my potential with these large employers or to pursue an investment finance career like many of my friends from college had done to great success.
However, it was this transitionary point that I began to think about some of the frustrations I had with archaic technology and lack of innovation in the legal field and other needs of my every day life. For some, I was able to find small new companies that were beginning to address my needs and for others, there was no solution yet available.
Everything changed for good when I began business school and took my first Entrepreneurship class with Dr. Richard Robinson. He instilled in us the concept that we ourselves could be the agents of change that fixed the frustrations we and others in the world share. I also learned that resources existed to make this concept a reality including investment to sustain you, education and support to reduce the trial and error and intelligent individuals who shared your vision and could provide expertise you lacked.
During my time abroad I witnessed even more challenges and opportunities that would not be fixed by large corporations but by people who were willing to take a risk and do so themselves.
When I returned to USC, I found several classmates who were passionate about their ideas and wanted an alternative to the normal corporate path. Two of these individuals were Blair and Marty, who I truly enjoyed working with. Over the course of that year, we crystalized the idea for RidePost, based on our interests and experiences. With bringing in Robert and joining The Iron Yard we were able to take that idea and make RidePost into the company it is today.
In a relatively short period of time, I was able to change myself from a stable career driven Attorney into an Entrepreneur, and now I cannot even think of going back. I still am able to contribute my past knowledge base in our legal and financial work but am exposed to new things every day and love it.
Whether you are a lawyer, doctor, sales person, scientist, programmer, teacher, waiter or anything else, and no matter what your personal and cultural background, you have it in you to be an entrepreneur. Instead of waiting around for someone else to solve the frustrations of our world, take a look around and see how you can be the one to fix them.