Entrepreneurs Make More Money Than Employees

Very interesting article in Forbes this week from the founder (Dave Girouard) of Upstart, an organization that helps college students and recent grads raise capital in exchange for future earnings.

Dave starts out talking about his conversations with a college dean who thinks that the corporate route (vs. the entreprneurial route) is better, and even more preferred, for college graduates.  But then he summarizes a report from IZA, an international Institute for the Study of Labor, that shows, in fact, that graduates who choose the entrepreneurial path make 50% more income over and above “employees”, and that they do much more to spur innovation and job creation.   They do this by creating environments that play to their strengths (vs. being inside corporate “guard rails”), which makes them both happier and more productive.

Coincidentally, I just finished reading the biography on Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and probably the most successful entrepreneur in the world.  He said that you shouldn’t be worried about making money — you have to be passionate about creating great products that create big value for people.  If you do that, the money will come (even though it shouldn’t be the primary motivation).  To me, this is an incredible piece of evidence to support the institute’s and Girouard’s point:  Jobs played to his strengths, and his company became the most valuable company in the world. 

It’s a key message that we talk about at the Anderson Center:  passion for what you are doing is key to an entrepreneur’s success.  Even if you aren’t enrolled in business classes, we have several programs and clubs that anyone on campus (and in some cases, anyone from off campus) can participate in to help develop skills that can help build entrepreneurial success.  Check them out and join us!

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