Photo by michelhrv
Entrepreneurs – go get a job!
Heresy! What, a job you say?? But I’m an entrepreneur – I’m driven by my vision, I set my own rules and play my own game. It’s why I do it!
Well, unless you have already floated, exited or are riding the hockey stick growth (or either of these are just around the corner) – I recommend you do the unthinkable, and get a job.
OK, well there’s a little more to this, I’ll explain…..
I believe getting a job can sometimes bring you closer to your entrepreneurial goals than working for yourself.
This is important as we entrepreneurs are impatient beings. Yes, we are told: ‘there are no mistakes, only experience’ and that we must ‘fail our way to the top’ etc, and we’re ok with that. But we still want to succeed, like, yesterday.
So unless you are on a rocket to the top (with proven traction, not ‘it’s going to happen tomorrow’), maybe a job is the best thing for you.
There is a caveat here (and a big one) – it’s a job in a rocket powered startup (just like the one you want to build).
No banks, insurance companies, pizza delivering [insert ‘normal’ job here – no matter how well paid it is] – these will bring you backwards.
So why would it be better to get a job at a startup? Here are my top 5 reasons why…….
1. Learn from the Best
This is a bit of a no-brainer right? When you’re working at a startup that’s growing/got funded/attracting buzz [delete as appropriate] you’ll be under the wing, daily, of great people who are doing exactly what you want to do down the road.
Soak it up baby. This is mentoring on steroids – and you’re getting paid for it. Nice!
2. Make Great Contacts (likeminded people)
If you haven’t realised yet that, even with this age of internet, it’s your real life networks that are your key to success, well – you should.
Working in a high growth startup you’ll be rubbing shoulders with likeminded people with great ideas and drive. Not only will you be working with these people in your team, but many startups these days are housed in some form of incubation centre where you’ll be working side by side with other startups = more opportunities to expand your network.
I’m currently working in this space three days a week and it’s awesome.
Who knows – you might meet your next co-founder.
Make money, pay off debts, and create a solid base for your next startup move.
If you’re already a successful entrepreneur with bags of cash and a Porsche, skip this one. For the rest of us………
There doesn’t seem to be an exact equation to startup success but if there was it’d go something like this:
Ideas + perseverance (time) + mistakes – income = success
So while we know we gotta keep at it and mistake are the only route to success, mistake rarely = bulging bank balances.
So after you’ve made a mistake (i.e. failed startup)……… take stock, lick the wounds and regroup.
Having a job where you’re getting paid means you’re not only learning for the next time, but you’re also paying off the credit card(s) and creating a solid base to springboard into your next startup.
You’ll feel better too (so will your girlfriend/boyfriend).
4. Allows you to Experiment
No doubt you devour learning (books, blogs, podcasts etc) and you hear of great ideas all the time. Experiment!
Seriously, working with someone allows you to put into practice all the things you’ve learned. Want to try out that Product Launch Formula or new Twitter strategy? Now’s the time….What could be better!
Just make sure you:
• Take note of what works and what doesn’t (and why)
• Create procedures so you can recreate the ones that work next time when you want to do them again for your own business
5. Restates Important Habits
Ever have the feeling you’re burning a lot of rubber but not making much progress? If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re working LONG hours, often by yourself. How do you know if you’re working on the right things?
We’re heard the one that success is ‘10% inspiration and 90% perspiration’, right? Well I’d argue that perspiration isn’t enough – you also gotta be uber effective, concentrating your time in the right areas.
Sometimes in startups we can spend a lot of time working by ourselves – bad habits can creep in easily and working with a team, under experienced leaders will help you spot and correct them.
For me, it was having the rights focus in the right areas: spending 20% of my time on the most important things to get 80% of the results (I have a tendency to ‘go deep’ and want to learn everything about an area, when I should be moved onto to the next task to make faster progress).
For you it might be something else: timekeeping, thinking big, being social etc.
Believe me, there’s no better way to learn (or relearn) these than working under a team with clear and ambitious goals.
Any other good startup job tips or resources? Please add them in the comments below