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Home is where the opportunity is

Published: 
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Q: I will be graduating from high school within the next four months. During the remaining time I will work on one of my ideas and create a business model. Originally I had planned to move to Austin, Texas, but after talking with successful entrepreneurs, I’ve started to lean toward living at my parents’ home and going to a local college to save money. What would be better, in your opinion? Should I stay with my parents while I’m working on launching my business, or should I get out of the house and experience a different world?

- Konnor Kelley

 

 

Moving away from home is one of the most exciting and difficult milestones in a young person’s life. It can be hard to leave the people you love, but at some point, you do have to get out there and learn to be independent. For an entrepreneur who is full of ideas like you are, choosing the right moment can involve some tradeoffs.

 

I started going to boarding school when I was young, but I have always been close to my parents and sisters. When I left school at age 16 to set up my first business, I moved into my friend Johnny Gems’ basement, below the hustle and bustle of London’s Edgware Road. It was dark, rather damp, extremely dirty—and we had a blast. Running our own business, Student Magazine, while relishing our first taste of independence was absolutely thrilling.

 

That said, Mum did keep an eye on us. She occasionally brought over baskets of food (we were always hungry) and made sure that we washed at least once a week. Fending for myself at an early age taught me a lot, but I never lost sight of how much my parents supported me, or of how important that support was.

 

These days my mum and I are close as ever, even though we live in different countries. Recently when she was doing a book signing in Washington (for “Mum’s the Word: The High-Flying Adventures of Eve Branson”), I paid her a surprise visit. She didn’t know that I was in town, so when I appeared at the front of the line, I gave her a real fright. It has been six decades; she should be used to my surprises by now!