Reda Jaber is a partner at IncWell, an early stage venture capital firm.
One of the things I decided early was that family was going to be an important part of my life.
That’s a big reason I’ve stayed in Michigan my whole life. There are many tempting business opportunities on the West or East Coast. But when you think about balancing what you want in life, you can’t put a price on being close to family.
I was set to go to medical residency when IncWell offered me a job. I accepted it. About a week went by before I told my parents.
My mom said, “I’ve been telling everybody that you’re going to be a doctor! What do I say now, that you’re a doctor of business?” I said, “Yeah, call me a doctor of business.”
Once they understood what venture capital is and saw how much passion I have for what I do, they’ve been 100 percent supportive.
I want to spend as much time as possible with my parents while I can. I see friends and colleagues and that’s their biggest regret. They wish they’d spent more time with their parents.
I was very, very fortunate to have parents at home every day throughout my formative years. My parents didn’t speak a lot of English, didn’t have an education.
So it was one of those situations where you have two boys in the house who had to grow up quickly, read the mail, fill out forms, and answer the phones. It matured us quickly.
We were given a lot of independence and a lot of trust and, luckily, we came out so far so good. I want to be there for my kids as well, to raise a child the way my father and my mother raised me.