Would You give up a Goldman offer for $40k doing web design?

pawsoffmymoney's picture
Rank: Baboon | 122

Hey guys, I just graduated with an offer from Goldman in their IBD as a 1st Year Analyst.

However for the 4 years while I was in college, I ran a (fairly) successful IT consulting company, that made $10k first year, $35k second year, and $40k third year.

Now here's the thing: I have gotten to the point where I have so many designs and code stockpiled up that a $5k project literally takes 1 week to do (but the client doesn't know that). I never had to work late nights and there were times where I finished projects while taking a dump with my laptop in the bathroom - and those were all $3k-7k projects. I'm not trying to sound braggish but I've just done so many that it's second nature to me now and it's not stressful at all or take up too much of my time.

I've always had an entreprenurial nature and my end goal is to have my own company. But an offer from Goldman is no joke at all and I really should be humble and know that I have the opportunity of a lifetime to work at a place where so many people want to be at.

So what would you do? Take up Goldman or reject the offer for a web design business that could or could not pull in $40k or more (or less)? It could be YEARS before I bring the company's profits up to Goldman's salary and business isn't always consistent. Some months I have 0 clients.

what would you do?

Comments (18)

May 28, 2011

I would take the GS offers hands down and continue to work on the business on the side hire some designers and automate things more.

you sound like a smart kid and theres so question that you can do both and grow your business into something profitable enough to live decently off of without the IBD stress down the road.

May 28, 2011

GS. u can always do web design later on

May 28, 2011

I would run your own business and not take the Goldman offer. Sounds like you're really exceptional at web design. Imagine what you could do if you treated this like a full time job and got investors or partners to really grow the company. Not many people have the opportunity to stake their own cliam/make their own way.

May 28, 2011

In the end you have to be comfortable with what you're doing. But the safe side of me says to take Goldman position and try to learn as much as you can before you find the work intolerable. Once you reach that breaking point you can always go back to web design.
But the entrepreneurial side of me says go for it. If you apply the 100 hours/week to building client base and working on advancing your final product then your upside could be unlimited. Just make sure you enjoy whatever it is you choose too because it seems like your just looking for the easiest/most stress-free way to make money (which is not the end all be all).

May 28, 2011

Do um both. There should always be time for a second passion, especially one that makes $$$.

May 28, 2011

GS opens up a shit ton more opportunities. You can always do web design (but you may never get the GS opportunity again).

To me this would be a no brainer (personally web design bores the shit out of me, and it's not like the salary makes up for it), but I'm not you. Only you can truly know what's best for yourself. If you absolutely love running your own business and doing IT consulting, and aren't even remotely interested in the exit ops that a GS IBD analyst stint would provide, then maybe continuing that business is a better choice for you. Just don't pass up something that you'll regret in 5 years if business isn't good.

May 28, 2011

I would try to do both. I know GS will obviously consume your time, but sounds like you can do the web design on the side without too many issues. If the web design really takes off, you can always quit GS, they'll have 100 people in line to take your place and won't miss you. But, I just think you would be silly not to take it when you are not sure what the web design future holds.

May 28, 2011

I'd take the risk. If you have an offer from GS now, I have a hunch you'd be a very competitive candidate for a tier 1 business school later.

Leaving the finance lifestyle is much harder than people make it out to be...

May 28, 2011

To me (someone with a skillset like yours and a potential career path like yours), I'd be taking the offer. Put it like this. You (very probably) won't get a chance to work in Goldman IBD again unless you go to b-school and try to come in as an Associate. Web design isn't going to shift so radically that you can't stay on top of it for another 2 years with whatever clients come your way. You can also keep working on the side as much as you want, and you can control how much you do based on the demand of your analyst role.

You're looking at two years of banking income with the chance for buy-side placement later. That outweighs what you're likely to get with web design over that period regardless of how hard you try. The combined work experience ought to make you very competitive for b-school, and there you'll have enough free time to ramp up your business again and maybe make a serious run of it then.

In short, IBD will suck as an analyst but there's a reason people do it: exit opps + compensation. Take those two now, because you won't get another shot. Keep the business alive and save it for later.

May 29, 2011

Web design is not a sustainable business -- you've got a heck of a lot of risk there. You're early in your career and your "business" is far from developed, it would be quite risky to pursue web design as your only source of income. I can go on Craigslist and get a web developer for $1,000, not really sure what differentiates your product if you've already got a set of templates you plan on using to speed things up. Sure, business schools might eat it up, but you won't have the skillset required to easily land a post-MBA banking job even coming from a top program.

I'd advise to take the Goldman offer, outsource as much of your business as possible, and re-assess after two years. You may find that your time as an analyst helps you manage your business going forward.

May 29, 2011
CompBanker:

Web design is not a sustainable business -- you've got a heck of a lot of risk there. You're early in your career and your "business" is far from developed, it would be quite risky to pursue web design as your only source of income. I can go on Craigslist and get a web developer for $1,000, not really sure what differentiates your product if you've already got a set of templates you plan on using to speed things up. Sure, business schools might eat it up, but you won't have the skillset required to easily land a post-MBA banking job even coming from a top program.

I'd advise to take the Goldman offer, outsource as much of your business as possible, and re-assess after two years. You may find that your time as an analyst helps you manage your business going forward.

I have outsourced webdesign on sites like DigitalPoint for a few dollars.

Take the GS offer.

"The right to have children should be a marketable commodity, bought and traded by individuals but absolutely limited by the state."--Kenneth Boulding

May 29, 2011

See if you can leverage the GS offer into something better. Goldman is a great firm, but they could be charged with fraud in the next few months in which case they will go the way of the dino. At this point I think they are a high risk, but high reward sort of employer.

Just saying, don't discount the tail risk . . . .

Apr 3, 2013
B-School Bound:

Goldman is a great firm, but they could be charged with fraud in the next few months in which case they will go the way of the dino .

I know someone necro'ed this thread, but I just wanted to chuckle at this quote a bit

May 29, 2011

I'm going to give you the exact same advice that I gave somene else in your exact situation about this time last year: take the offer at GS, do the business on the side and hire people to take over the routine functions. When you're making more than you do at the bank: quit. Until then, realize that you are in the top .01% of earners in the 21/22 year old demographic.

Ultimately, only you can make that decision, so I guess it comes down to what you WANT to do, but unless you come from wealth, I'd take the money and consider yourself lucky......

May 29, 2011

Really awesome you have such a great entrepreneurial spirit and are so successful at it.

If it were me, I'd take the offer as a security blanket/opportunity opener in case something happened with your business. You can also run it on the side, and may end up meeting people at GS that are smart like yourself and want to work with you after their stint instead of going to HF/PE.

Congrads man!

Apr 3, 2013

If you don't feel like you have that "amazing" idea yet perhaps taking the GS offer will help you to generate money and offer stability over the next few years. If you come up with another idea or a better idea and you live conservatively over the next three years you should have enough money to do either the same start up with better resources or a different one with out having to worry about getting outside investors from the start.

Apr 3, 2013

BAonBayStreet - Necroing ~2 year old threads since becoming an entrepreneur intern, i guess

Apr 3, 2013
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