Why I Quit Investment Banking to Start a Business

Upon graduating from college and making the move to New York City in 2001 to work as an investment banking analyst at Lehman Brothers, I found myself engulfed in the city’s bustling crowds, towering skyscrapers, and ceaseless activity. While I was excited about the potential for success in a major financial firm, the reality of investment banking, with its demanding hours and, in my opinion, relentless lifestyle, quickly became apparent. I persevered as long as I could, wearing a smile and pretending to be fully engaged and committed until it became unsustainable. I recognized the need for a pivot, a shift towards something more personally fulfilling and less focused on numbers.

“When I was a child, my mother operated a school for students with learning disabilities in South Florida. I spent years working at her school, learning various multi-sensory teaching methods, and witnessing struggling learners flourish in the right educational environment. It dawned on me that I could utilize this experience to offer one-on-one tutoring to special needs children throughout Manhattan.”

Filled with apprehension, I left my finance job and embarked on a journey to tutor children of all ages facing learning challenges. I conducted tutoring sessions in the evenings, during the day at schools, and throughout the entire weekend. However, this pace became unsustainable, and it was then that an idea struck me: why not transform my tutoring practice into a business?

I recognized a significant demand for tutoring services and had only limited time to work directly with these children. I cautiously began to bring additional tutors on board, each specializing in various academic skills and age groups.

“At first, families would visit my modest apartment in Manhattan for an initial assessment. I would carefully match the student with a tutor I personally selected and would accompany the tutor to the first few sessions to observe. I was anxious that the parents might not be satisfied, or the tutor might not perform as effectively as I could.”

To my surprise, some of the tutors proved to be not just as good as me, but even better! It was a revelation that I could be in charge and have individuals who were arguably more skilled than me working under my guidance, contributing to the success of my business. This was one of my earliest lessons in entrepreneurship. Parents were delighted with the results, solidifying my belief that this business was worth pursuing.

“I was astounded to discover that I could take the lead and have individuals who were arguably more competent than me working under my guidance, generating revenue for the business.”

As I mentioned, I launched EBL Coaching from my cozy Union Square apartment in Manhattan and eventually secured a small office space on the Upper East Side to separate my work from home life. In due course, I rented a slightly larger space and acquired a substantial learning center on the Upper East Side in 2006.

I opted for organic growth for EBL Coaching, avoiding external funding and relying on the revenue generated by the business to fund its expansion. Over time, EBL Coaching has extended its reach to New Jersey, Westchester, and all the other boroughs surrounding Manhattan. We now provide virtual tutoring services to students facing learning challenges throughout the United States and across the globe.

To be clear, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. There are days when it feels like I’m constantly dealing with issues. Yet, most days, I’m deeply gratified, knowing that I’ve not only built and nurtured a successful business but also made a meaningful difference in the lives of countless children.

About Author

Martin Weber is a prolific author for Influencer Gazette, a lifestyle magazine renowned for its in-depth coverage of business, news, and entrepreneurship. With a talent for crafting engaging narratives, Martin's work offers readers a fresh and informed perspective on these dynamic subjects. He empowers readers with insights to navigate the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship and stay informed about current business trends. Martin's writing is a source of inspiration for those looking to succeed in the ever-evolving landscape of business and innovation.