Why I Play the Lotto

Originally posted on Build In Chicago.

As a child, we dream about being astronauts, our backyard tree house becomes an outpost in the Wild West fight between soldiers and Indians, and the only limit to what we can accomplish is chime of mom’s dinner bell (or text message). Somewhere along the way, we start becoming aware of our limitations: our intelligence, our physical ability, or those that our status in society put upon us. We start conforming to expectations other people have, and forget our dreams. Words like practical, responsible and safe start entering our vocabulary.

I play the lotto. I LOVE playing the lotto.

I’m an intelligent human being, and realize that my odds of actually winning are pretty small. It’s not that I have an immense amount of disposable income.

I actually don’t like checking the tickets. Eventually I do, but it’s usually weeks later.

For $1, a lotto ticket is a license to dream. And not just dream a little – but dream in large, grand gestures. Sure there are cars and other luxury items in my dreams, but mostly, I think about what kind of life I would want, the businesses that I’d start or support, and the charity I’d do.

Entrepreneurship is a lot like playing the lotto. Let’s ignore the Instagram-like financial successes for a second. Being part of a startup allows us to envision creating a work environment that we only wish someone had created for us, a company that solves real world problems. It’s a license to dream about the reality that we would like to create for not only ourselves, but others.

I’m working on CareTree because it has the ability to change healthcare. It’s a big idea and has a lot of people excited. The world with CareTree in it is better for me personally and lots of other people.

I’m not advocating being irresponsible. Play the lotto. Start a company. Regardless of what you do,  Dream Big.