If I could write a letter to my nine-year-old self, what would it say? Maybe I would have skipped the year in private art school ($30,000 before interest) and opted for a year apprenticeship in Venice (which in theory would have made me money).
More importantly, where would I be? I am 27 and the executive director of a successful non-profit environmental consulting firm. After 5 years of blood, sweat, tears we have a functional board, and have worked with other non-profits throughout Oregon conducting watershed assessments and endangered species habitat restoration planning.
I was fortunate to have an amazing partner but the drive I needed to keep doing it, day in day out was more than I was prepared for, financially and mentally. I wouldn’t change anything, even though I went into debt to start the business, because I am happy with what I am doing and so too are my partners and clients.
But for the sake of argument and for the sake of helping others faced with the same options I was, I would give my nine-year-old self the following advice: