I am currently the founder of RailEyes, a company that can place vivid color advertising on escalator handrails via an antimicrobial film. RailEyes is the exclusive distributor of this patented technology in North America, and we are working on building a market in the US for a service that is already successful in Europe and Asia.
Somewhere, in the middle of this entrepreneurship process, I reflected on whether I chose the best path to succeed as a business owner. Was it best to have to go head-first into working for large corporations, as I did, spending a good number of years there and then dipping my toe into the entrepreneurship ocean? Or should I have gone directly into starting a business upon graduating — perhaps even sooner than that. For some people, yet another option is preferred where one can blend the two until one is more successful than the other. The latter was never for me as I prefer to be all-in and not split my time between an employer and being self-employed.
I have the good fortune of being a McCombs graduate. We had, and still have, an amazing career services office that will help you find an amazing place to launch your career. Certainly, having to choose between six job offers back in the day was quite the privilege. In the end, I accepted a dream job at Ford Motor Co. and earned business acumen that sets me apart from the competition to this day.
There are some things that are harder to learn while in a cushy corporate job. For example, Sales and Business Development — especially when you are the new company on the block, or introducing a new technology. Getting skilled at these are some of the necessary lessons that one has to learn through raw entrepreneurial experience. These lessons don’t come cheap, and the chance of failure is high, but so are the rewards. Thus a true entrepreneur embraces failure yet continues to shoot for the moon. That’s a pretty Texan thing to do if you ask me.