It’s often difficult to predict which arts of our lives will lead us to entrepreneurial success further down the line.
Take Jeff Chapin as an example. He’s the co-founder of a mattress company called Casper, which has done more than $100M in their two short years of existence. One of the keys to Casper’s success was the inside knowledge that Jeff brought to the table, after years of helping mattress companies optimize their organizations.
But Chapin didn’t necessarily do that job with an eye on revolutionizing the mattress industry with a multi-million dollar startup. From 2004 to 2008 he was just a guy with a job. Then he left that job, and spent five years traveling around the world working in developing countries.
It was Neil Parikh, previous founder of Consignd, who eventually approached Chapin about the idea for Casper. Neil had gone to med school with Chapin’s fiancé, and knew that Jeff understood the mattress industry. And so it was that a job he’d had nearly half a decade before became a new gateway into the startup world, and the secret sauce behind Casper’s success.
The lesson here is simple. Don’t begrudge whatever you’re doing today. Even if it doesn’t seem big or important, it could be the foundation upon which you build the next great thing. Every experience teaches us something.