Perspectives: Entrepreneurial Lessons for Changing Times: Graduations

This is the season of university graduations in many client households. This weekend marked a graduation in our family as well. It was the effort that we all expect: Two full days of travel to sit in the sun for several hours, listening to many speakers before finally your child walks the stage and receives their diploma.  It was a great day of achieved milestones and visible accomplishments that validated the many efforts from all.

What surprised me, to the unexpected good – having attended many such graduations – was the tone of all the speakers, starting with the University President and including the student, business, sports and political keynoters.  The tone was universally entrepreneurial: College is not the greatest years of your life. The greatest years of your life lie ahead in the accomplishments that you are now trained to seek.  All stressed the need to get started, to try, and the value of failing.

I could see these students starting their active life path.  I could see us starting our retirement path.

Tennyson’s line in Ulysses  – RIIA’s official poem because as you will see below it talks, curiously enough, to retirement planning – kept echoing in my head.

“Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ 

We are not now that strength which in old days 

Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; 

One equal temper of heroic hearts, 

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will 

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”

The ability (and will) to adapt to changes in the environment (and in ourselves) will shape the success of these students, as much as it will retirement plans and the industry overall.

Francois Gadenne
Co-Founder, Chairman and Executive Director

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