“I want to become an angel investor,” said the 34-year-old sitting in front of me.
“Why do you want to become an angel investor?” I asked.
“So I can build wealth,” he answered.
As we talked, I detected a lack of passion. So I explored further.
“What have you been doing for the last decade?” I asked.
I’m Not an Employee
“I have been creating websites and user interfaces for products so they are used and enjoyed. I’ve worked with startups as well as some of the F100 and everyone in between. I’ve done project work, but most people I work with want me to join them as a full-time employee. And I don’t want to be an employee,” he said.
“Why not be an employee if you are doing the work you love?” I asked.
“For two reasons. First, I get bored working on the same product or project. Second, I am working for a salary with no upside. I have a wife and two kids. I want to provide a good life for us and also educate my kids in private school,” he said.
“Instead of becoming an angel investor to accomplish these goals, why not start a company?”
“I’m a creator and introvert. Like a big time introvert. I thought about starting a company, but I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what I will be called on to do,” he said.
Find Your True Heart
“But you are a believer. God has given you a unique skill to make the technical look beautiful. There is a great need for your work, and you have the passion and skills to satisfy this need. Why not trust God with what has to be done every day to serve this market. Then it is not up to you. It’s up to Him,” I said.
“Just think what your life might look like in ten years if you do this. Take the time in prayer to think about and begin constructing a vision for your life and your work. I sense this is really what you want to do because you are clearly a creator. This is your heart.”
As we talked, I could see him getting more and more animated. The possibility of creating a company, people with a shared mindset and skills who are passionate about the same thing he’s passionate about, lit him up. When we started, his head was down and he wasn’t making much eye contact. Now he was leaning forward, looking me in the eye and talking nonstop.
When Passion Becomes Contagious
His passion started to spill over, and now I was excited. I told him he would be someone I would invest in and he should do the same. “Put your money behind you and not someone else. An investor’s mission is to build wealth. To take a pile of money and make it into a bigger pile of money. An entrepreneur’s mission is to build value by using his gifts to serve people. You are value-building, an entrepreneur, not an investor. Be true to who God made you to be.”
We ended the meeting in prayer. We embraced each other, and he was about to leave when he said, “You know why I do what I do?”
“Why?” I asked.
Loving Others Through Work
“It is my way of loving others. I take the time to fall in love with the person who will be using the technology. I work hard to understand them. To understand their needs. To gain empathy for their brokenness. This is what makes me a great designer, a creator. I love them with my gifting,” he said.
I never heard someone in technology talk like this. He captured me. I know he will capture others who will want to join him in this endeavor of loving first and then creating.
Also published on Medium.