Conventional wisdom implores young people to go ahead and head off to school, work in a stable, well-paying, but maybe-a-little-boring job, and then go off and try to do something new or risky with a potential high payoff later in their careers. Once you have money saved up, a safety net established, and a number of other things, only then can you pursue that riskier, grittier path (paradoxically enough, conventional wisdom also states you should take on immense, restrictive debt in the form of a mortgage during this time).
Some young people decide to buck that norm and go after a non-traditional path with the potential of high payoff. That might leave them working hard or taking home little pay for a few years, maybe even failing a few times along the line, but they have the potential for a high payoff that nobody who takes that traditional path has. Even more young people wish they could go after something like that, but have no idea where to start.
How do you access the kinds of people to do such work? How do you get close to builder, tinkerers, investors, and big thinkers? You may run into a few in the labs of universities, but even then, that’s mostly limited to very specific thinking in very specific fields.
You could just pursue that path outright. Going off and trying to build a business all on your own. You may very well succeed. Chances are, though, that you don’t want to take this path. Again, you are stuck asking, “Where do I even start here?” and you lack a coach to help you pursue that path.
Praxis changes all of this.
We started Praxis for people who want to be in charge of their own lives. We started it for those people who want to build something for themselves — who are driven to try new things because it interests them.
I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.
— Howard Roark, The Fountainhead (by Ayn Rand)
We started Praxis so that those young people who are interested in being builders — whether builders of products, systems, organizations, ideas, or companies — have a place to start. Too many find themselves lethargically wasting away in universities where they are told they have to sit and wait before they can do something new, or that they at least should be focusing on their formal studies instead of building. Those who aren’t are likely taking on debt or focusing so heavily on taking on a career that doesn’t fit them because it’s what people from their school do.
Elite students climb confidently until they reach a level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. Higher education is the place where people who had big plans in high school get stuck in fierce rivalries with equally smart peers over conventional careers like management consulting and investment banking. For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition that continues to outpace inflation. Why are we doing this to ourselves?
— Peter Thiel, Zero to One
If you’re somebody who has wanted to go out there, get a grasp of things from people who have learned how business operates firsthand themselves, and build, Praxis is for you.
If you’re somebody who has felt themselves bored in school, but not necessarily a bad student, Praxis is for you.
If you’re somebody who finds themselves anxiously coming across new, potentially crazy ideas for how they could impact and change the world, Praxis is for you.
If you’re somebody who feels themselves suffocated by the idea of the traditional job, of the traditional route, and who isn’t afraid of a little instability for a potentially high payoff, Praxis is for you.
This is why I joined the Praxis team early on. I found myself wasting away in school. I wasn’t a bad student — I had a great GPA and had received several prestigious fellowships and awards — but I was antsy. I felt like there had to be a better path. I had spent the years prior busily building a resume so I could go to an elite school (for what? I have no clue — see Thiel quotation above), but I knew I wanted to build more.
So I decided to help build Praxis. Praxis can help you decide to help build another company, perhaps even your own someday, so you can build your life.
My career is accelerated years beyond what it would have been at graduation — and my peers haven’t even graduated yet. I regularly deal with everybody from blue collar entrepreneurs building mansions and skyscrapers to tech entrepreneurs building better ways of organizing your resources and time. I meet with hedge fund managers and investors as a peer, not as a student asking for a job.
And Praxis is built so others can do the same.
If this spoke to you, apply to Praxis now. We’d love to talk to you.