Today, while talking to a friend at Juniper Networks, we got talking about the company’s founder, an IIT Kanpur alumnus.
His profile mentions that his dad wanted him to become an IAS officer. But instead, he went for higher studies and ended up building a multi-billion dollar company, which today rivals Cisco.
Now, had he joined the IAS, he would have had a career with zero uncertainty — the exact date of his every promotion and retirement would have been known on day 1. He would have faced no risk of failure, nor the possibility of doing anything beyond what a typical IAS officer gets to do.
As an entrepreneur, he took risks. And today we know about his venture because he built a world-leading company. Had it failed, it would be quietly been added to the statistics of startup failures.
A risk-free career path (e.g., IAS) is like being a referee in a game. You can’t lose, nor can you win. No dejection, but no glory.
An entrepreneur is a player – he can lose. In fact, quite often he does. But sometimes, he wins big.
Both options are fair. Neither is morally superior to the other.
Whenever we have to take a risk in our lives, the choice is always the same: Referee or player?
Which is right for you?
That is what you got to figure out.