Life dilemma..

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nickspohn, May 10, 2009.

?

Which scenario?

  1. A - Running my own company, A LOT more money, but constantly busy.

    30 vote(s)
    83.3%
  2. B - College Required, serving the public, not as much money, but LESS stress.

    6 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #1
    Well, here is my future in a nutshell. I have two scenarios. It would be awesome if someone has gone through a similar situation, but even if you haven't, which would you choose?

    A) My father has a rather large corporation that my grandpa started decades ago. 100+ Employees, and he does work across the west part of the country, mainly Colorado and California. My father has been running the company for about 30 years now. He won't give anyone else the company except for me, because I'm the only one he trusts since i'm his blood. I've lived in Chicago for the past 15 years and he has lived in Denver so we haven't had the closest relationship.

    Do i take the business, and run it? Let me tell you one thing, i LOVE entrepreneurship. That, and running my own company is in my blood. I have a passion for doing something like that. If I wasn't doing this scenario, I can probably say I'd start my own business as a side job down the road with something I'm really interested in.

    Pros:
    Money
    Running my own company

    Cons:
    Very busy
    Stressful

    B) Law Enforcement. I'm a senior in high school. Do i really want to go to college? Yes/No. Yes because it's a great life experience and i can have that 4 year degree added to my name. I have always wanted to work for the government, such as ICE, FBI, DEA, etc. Or even as a local cop. I would love to do something like that, but the pay doesn't even come close to what I would be making with scenario A. But life isn't about money, it's about being happy.

    Pros:
    Working with many different types of people
    Everyday changes

    Cons:
    Money
    College required
    Risky job


    I just want opinions. I know this is a decision I can only make, but I'm so torn to what to do..
     
  2. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    #2
    I don't think most law enforcement people are all that happy. it is a hard and thankless job full of disappointment.
     
  3. nickspohn thread starter macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #3
    I would like the authority though. But I guess I can get that from scenario A too..
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    youve got to keep that company going, if my dad/family had a company going i would 100% go for it.
     
  5. nickspohn thread starter macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #5
    Even if I have to pack up my life and move across the country leaving behind the family that took care of me when my Dad wasn't there?
     
  6. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #6
    well, it will be your company.. ;) you can do what you want with it. treat your family that took care of you to a life they havent experienced - maybe they might like it?
     
  7. ikermalli macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #7
    I'm a freshman in high school right now, I have the same scenario. My dad wants me to take over his company when I am older, he also wants me to be the programmer too. I suggested Scenario A, I think you should work under him for a while though. My dad said I needed to get a degree in programming and work under him for 5 years in which he is going to switch my positions so I can "get to learn the business". I think you should work for your dad, and get him to teach you the ins and outs of the business so when you take over you will be a great owner of the company, and you will learn from what your father has experienced.
     
  8. magamo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    #8
    I'd take the business if I'm interested in the industry. If not, probably I'd like a more relaxing life.
     
  9. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #9
    I know a guy that is a pharmacist (owns his own pharmacy too), owns 2 arcades, is a cop at night, and does a lot with military/police/swat training in tactical operations and firearms.

    He's a bit of a nut but he does what he enjoys and gives up nothing (except maybe sleep).

    I am a senior in high school too. Do what you want to do. Why not get a degree and then see how you like it. If not go work for your dad's company. If you don't want to do his job though you should accept that. Don't live a life you don't want. You've got one life and a lot of years ahead of you...
     
  10. airjuggernaut macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
  11. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #11
    colorado is awesome! are you guys hiring by chance? id move back in a heartbeat lol
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #12
    Option 1.


    You won't be running your own company if you were working for the government (DEA, FBI, etc). If entrepreneurship is in your blood, there's nothing you can do about it. Besides, you can always work for the government. You can't say the same thing about running a corporation. It's much easier to go "backwards" (sorry I had to put it that way).
     
  13. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    キャンプスワ&#
    #13
    Tough decision as you put it.

    Personally, I would go for Option 2. There's a cool world out there. :)
     
  14. Melrose macrumors 604

    Melrose

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    In a sidewalk.
    #14
    Option No. 1.

    In two years, sell it for a nice profit, invest wisely and you either won't have to work again or will have a dang nice retirement. I'd say that's worth a few years extra stress.
     
  15. nickspohn thread starter macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #15
    Well, it's Mechanical Contracting. He also has a heating / plumbing division.

    I'm going to be honest. I didn't really try in high school. My GPA tells it all. I got a 24 on my ACT and ace all my tests. I just don't do homework. That is what is stopping me from going to a college.

    Thank you!

    I would hire you lol. The pay is good too..

    That's true. I can't really see myself going to college when i'm older though. Plus my dad is the one paying for my college if i go to college.

    That's what I'm saying. I'm also into people. I love anything to do with Sociology and Pysch.


    I want to sell it personally, but never could. It's my dad's life.
     
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #16
    sweet! well you know how to reach me ;)

    id do option 1 for sure
     
  17. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Location:
    Right side of wrong
    #17
    i voted for A, but only if you enjoy the job. if you don't enjoy it, then don't do it
     
  18. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #18
    Go to college, no matter what, even if your grades stink. Take a year at a community college if you need to prove to someone you can handle the bookwork.

    Then major in whatever you like. If it's connected to your father's business or not, it'll be useful.

    When you graduate, take over the business. Once you're in charge, you can do whatever you want, including whatever in option B you find appealing. Move the company into private law enforcement if that's what you want. But with the company, you have a great deal more options than without it.

    mt
     
  19. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #19
    There are many opportunities within federal employment.

    Granted there are some jobs that are your normal run of the mil BS office type jobs. But there are many other jobs -- some of which are high pressure and will keep you on your toes. Some you may live out of a suitcase most of the year. Some you travel or are stationed in foreign countries. So many different opportunities. You can start out at the bottom and work your way to the top over time.

    I've been blessed with seeing a wide variety of federal DoD employment opportunities. Some would simply amaze you.

    BTW, don't let federal employment fool you as being non-stress type positions. It all depends on what you do. There are some very high stress and exciting positions.

    I think that you've just answered your own question.

    If you want to sell it, then the business is not in your blood. Chances are that you would not do a good job either because there isn't the motivation.

    Find something you enjoy and pursue it. :)
     
  20. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #20
    This reads like a page from my wife's life book. She was/is brilliant. She aced every test ever thrown at her in high school, got an almost perfect SAT score, and never studied for anything. She just picked stuff up and remembered it.

    She went to college for one semester and dropped out to take a job offer doing something she loved. The unfortunate part came when she stopped doing that job and is now trying to find a "real" job (the previous job was a 100% tour/travel job...now that we are married, she doesn't want to be split up that much).

    She's smart as a whip and can do anything put in front of her, but without any sort of college degree, it's hard to prove to most employers that you are what you say you are unless you have some experience in the particular field you are looking in. Now, at 28, she is considering going back and getting an actual degree so that she can move on.

    Not everyone needs a degree to be successful in life. But those are usually the people who are VERY motivated and either start their own companies or get brought into one by someone they know.

    For myself, I would choose option 2. But, that's because I have absolutely ZERO desire to run a company and deal with the stress of all that. I make a terrible #1, but a great #2 (no comments!). I prefer to do what I enjoy and make decent money while doing it. I also am not looking to become a gazillionaire, only to live comfortably. I get to mostly be at home and work on my own schedule, occasionally going out to show sites to do the actual install work. Much happier that way.

    Even for option 1, I would still go to school. Get either a business or mechanical engineering degree. Show that you have something other than just "I'm my dad's son." You never know when that degree might help in the future as well.
     
  21. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #21
    This is an interesting admission. You want to get into law enforcement for the sense of authority it would give you over others.
     
  22. Fake Hipster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    #22
    This. Go to college then run the business. You'll be better prepared to run it, and if god forbid, the company ever goes under, you'll be far more qualified to find another job.
     
  23. davidwarren macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #23
    +1. Sounds like just the type the police force doesn't want. I say go to college and then work for your dad, and then take it over. If you take it over right now, you will run it into the ground in no time. I seriously doubt your dad would hand over such a legacy to someone fresh out of high school.
     
  24. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2001
    Location:
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    #24
    This was my first thought too.

    My second thought was that the "smart, but bad grades" bit strikes me as having some (to be polite) "Developmental Needs" in learning personal discipline. FWIW, I was the same way.


    The company's a good starting point, but I'd recommend NOT starting at the top, unless you want to try to screw things up.

    I'd make it a point to come in at the bottom and actually learn the business. This will do a couple of things, some of which are good for you, and some of which are good for the company.

    Specifically, what's good for you is that you get to decide if you like the company business without committing yourself to eventually running it. This way if it sucks eggs, you can bail out to try something else.

    What's good for the business is that they don't get screwed up / ruined by you. That's in the short term. In the long term, if you love the business and stay, you'll have a much deeper & better understanding of the company's core business and how it works than if you started at the top and tried to look down.

    BTW, do keep in mind that these two work together nicely: early on, you can tell everyone that you don't know what you want (truth!) and that there's no reason for they to ass-kiss you, etc...and by doing so, you'll learn from the inside up who the really good people are (if you decide to stay).


    Quite understandable. For better or worse, one really needs to "punch the ticket" on a college degree. Where I'm working, I was held back for years because I resisted going on to get my Master's Degree. I finally caved in and it didn't really make a lick of difference in what I knew or did on the job, but having that piece of paper allowed me to advance up the job promotion chain, and now I have more interesting stuff to work on.


    Another way to look at it is that when you "own" the company, you can decide how many weeks of vacation you want to take...and you're more likely to have the resources to do it. BUT ... there's a HUGE danger in me even making this suggestion, because it is almost a cliche that it is the 3rd generation that kills off the family business.

    I've never studied the reasons why...it seems to be a lack of appreciation for the hard hard work and sacrifices that their father made in order to define his father as a success. This seems to create strain between the 2nd & 3rd generation ... and the 2nd generation wants to twist the arm of the 3rd into taking over the company even if they don't want to.

    I'm not a psychiatrist, but I'm inclined to think of a familiy business as another child in the household, which means that there's the potential for the equivalent of sibling rivalry to occur and so forth: the 3rd generation reluctantly agrees to take over, but then (perhaps subconciously) proceeds kills his rival sibling, which is the business.

    So I really don't know what to recommend here. Maybe print out these posts and show them to your father...and have a long, honest discussion with him.

    Ideally, you two can hopefully figure out a mutually agreeable business plan where (a) he can be happy, (b) you can be happy, and (c) the company continues to prosper ... with or without anyone in your family being involved.

    Now here's the kicker: you mentioned that he's already been working in the business for 30 years, which means you're already on a deadline, particularly if you think that you might enjoy working the family business.

    To work in round numbers, if college takes 5 years, and evein you work summers in the business, by the time that you wrap that up and then get 5 solid years of post-college experience (that's barely enough time, IMO), Dad will have 30+5+5 = 40 years in the company...if he started at age 20-25, that puts him at age 60-65 and while he could go another 10 years, he really needs to start to work hard on his succession plan, as well as how he wants to define his retirement. Perhaps he wants to have a retirement that doesn't involve all of the daily high stress that he's had for the past 30+ years...or perhaps he wants to stay on until he dies...you don't know until you ask.

    What this also means is that part of your (a,b,c) business plan should include (d): Dad's health. To be blunt, demand & extract concessions where he's going to take take specific steps to care of his health (MD checkups on a specfic schedule, etc). If there's been other family issues (feuds or other things that would benefit from reconciliation, taking vacations/time off, etc), have these listed as objectives too (e,f).

    What's in it for him is that it will do his company no good if he drops dead from a heart attack at age 52 before you're ready.

    FYI, when I went through college, one of the things that they told us at Admissions was that the #1 non-academic reason for kids dropping out was the health of the guy paying the tuition.

    So in summary, what I'd recommend is for you to do is:
    A) Go to College
    B) Set aside at least a day every Semester, for a "Business Project Review" with your father to see how (a,b,c,d,e,f) are working out ...or not working.
    C) Make sure Dad keeps up his end of the bargain by taking care of himself, vacations, etc...whatever else you two agreed on.

    This all might sound like a tall order, but if you read through it a few times, you'll realize that it breaks down into a couple of simple topics: take care of yourself, take care of family, take care of the family business.

    One of the absolute hardest things can be for a family management group to admit that they don't have the within-family expertise/skills/interest to keep the business going, so the only right thing to do for the business is to sell it to someone who can keep it going - - the key thing to keep in mind here is that an ongoing successful enterprise is financially worth a lot more than one that has crashed & burned, so if you do have to let go of it, you want to do so while it is still a success.

    -hh
     

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