We wake up everyday and want to pinch ourselves to make sure this life we are living is real. Are we really our own bosses? Do we really get to go to work everyday and be surrounded by people who inspire us? Do we jump out of bed in the middle of the night with new ideas? Do we wake up most days excited to get our day started? Do we go to the office because we love being there? This can’t be real, oh… but it is.
For years we both dreamt of being entrepreneurs, so when we finally took the leap and it was long overdue. Many people are just like us, they daydream about being their own boss, creating their own success and building a triumphant company, but they aren’t quite ready to take the leap. (We don’t blame you!) Our number one piece of advice for these folks is don’t wait forever, take your fate into your own hands sooner than later, don’t let time pass you by.
Since we can all relate to those who are not quite yet ready to leave that cushy job, we wanted to put together some advice that might serve you well along your journey to entrepreneurship.
Follow your passion: You can’t build something great if you aren’t passionate about what you do, make sure whatever path you choose it’s one that makes you excited everyday. Don’t know how to find your passion? We can help.
Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you: Whether it’s a business partner, a mentor or coworkers, find people that you can learn from, people that inspire you and push you to be your best self. These folks are not easy to find but it can be done.
Build your personal brand: Your actions, beliefs, everything you do, reflects your brand, now is the time to own it. Make sure to put out into the world professionally what you want your brand to reflect. Start by getting involved in the community, network, join groups and organizations that align with your career and industry and build a social presence. When it’s time to go out on your own, your brand can help or hurt you, take the steps now to ensure it will help you. This book is an oldie but a goodie. “The Start Up of You,” by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha. This book will help guide you to a place where you can build your own brand regardless of what industry you are in.
Network: Don’t be that person who only networks when they need something, people can smell that from a mile away. Start building your network now, create relationships, identify people that may be able to help you down the road and see what you can do for them today. A strong and supportive network can be the difference between a successful business and a total flop. Remember, always ask what you can do for someone who is helping you, networking is a two way street, don’t be needy or greedy.
Create a plan: Talk to your family, get their support, start saving a nest egg, find business partners who align with your interests, create a timeline and stick to it. Walk through life with a definiteness of purpose and see your actions turn into success. (Have no idea what we are talking about here? Consider reading Napolean Hill’s book: Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success). #dontbeadrifter
You won’t have all the answers: We learn something new every single day, there are so many aspects to owning and a running a business that it would be nearly impossible to know everything. You must be resourceful. Think outside the box, teach yourself the things you don’t know if you must. Find partners that bring a different skill set in than you. Learn from each other. You’ll get there, it just takes time.
Go outside your comfort zone: They say success is just outside your comfort zone, and they’re right. Don’t let fear hold you back, step outside your comfort zone and see what you’re capable of. It’s that adrenaline of being alive that will keep you afloat.
Beware of Stage 5 Clingers: We all have them, friends, family members, that kid who sat next to you in freshman math class, they seemingly crawl out of the woodwork once you show signs of being a successful entrepreneur. These people want to “catch up, pick your brain, or see how they can be an asset to your organization” all of that is code for “time suck.” Your time is your biggest asset in life. It is more important than money. Your energy will be better spent building your empire and surrounding yourself with those people who were there from the start or those who you haven’t yet met that will be game changers for you in the future.
Most importantly, stay true to yourself. Remember why you started this journey, what your vision is, and don't lie or stretch the truth to sell your services. Karma isn't your friend and your actions are your brand.
We wish you all success in your next adventure and for those of you with big plans to be the big boss, don’t sit around forever, start taking steps now to make it happen!
So Long Corporate America,
Kendall Wyman & Lee-Anne Scalley