fm Forbes.com Zine 12 Apr 16 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
There seems to be a big debate these days about the best approach to starting a new business. Some argue the only way to start is to drop everything & jump in with both feet, while others recommend an gradual change to your lifestyle, including not quitting your Day Job until you have revenue to survive and a proven business model. I’m definitely a proponent of this latter approach.
Mark Cuban – Billionaire ($B2B) Entrepreneur & “Shark Tank” co-host Mark Cuban is an outspoken proponent of the all-in early approach, and has made it clear that he gives no credibility & low odds to founders seeking funding who have not fully committed their time & efforts to their business. Obviously his approach of absolute focus, getting up early, staying up late has worked for him.
Live your Startup Dream without Quitting your Day Job, is promoted via a new book, “The 10% Entrepreneur:,” by Patrick J. McGinnis, a well-known Venture Capitalist & private equity Investor. He makes some good points in the book for the overlapped entrepreneur approach that I espouse:
1. Job is not enough these days. The smartest people I know these days always have several things going concurrently – and more in the queue. With the rapid pace of change and all the unknowns in the world, everyone should be working on multiple options, including a conventional paying job as well as an entrepreneurial opportunity.
2. Maintain the Income & stability of an existing job. Not all your friends & family will see your entrepreneurial efforts as Visionary & Inspiring. You can choose to keep your startup efforts in “stealth mode” to keep peace in your relationships, until your business has the momentum and visibility to overcome the qualms of the “skeptics” important to you.
3. It costs a lot of $$$ to get started, and you don’t get payback until your start getting sufficien revenue. Most entrepreneurs don’t get the satisfaction of much Cash Flow for the first couple of years, even if their startup is well funded by Investors. Living off credit cards & borrowed money, instead of other work income, can ruin your personal finances & kill your startup motivation far too early.
4. Make sure you have the Right Idea before risking it all. I respect the passion & enthusiasm of a new entrepreneur, but I’m seen enough as a Startup Advisor to know that more time & effort is often required – when you do a “reality check”. Reality checks are best before you have put everything on the line, essentially eliminating the ability to back out. Don’t cash your Reality Check, until you are sure. LoL
5. The early Entrepreneur lifestyle is not much fun. Even with high passion & a good cause, early startup efforts are stressful, lonely (ie, things always take longer than expected). I see no reason not to balance these frustrations with the satisfaction of more conventional work accomplishments and the people relationships we all need to thrive (ie, family & friends)
6. Odds are you’re going to Fail before you Succeed. Historical & current statistics show the chances of total failure of a Startup is 90%. The good news is that you can learn from every small failure you make, improving your odds of survival tremendously. Having another job is more good news, since it improves the financial, emotional, and social ability to try again.
7. Entrepreneurship is an endurance marathon, rather than a quick dash to success. When you are starting a new venture, raising capital, & landing those initial customers, the obstacles keep coming, so you need all the flexibility & resilience you can muster. Your survival may depend on being able to step into your familiar Day Job to relieve your Startup success pressure and give you time to resolve your challenges more objectively – than the emotions of the urgent survival.
8. Working for an existing Startup is a good way to test the waters – as an aspiring entrepreneur – see if this lifestyle is for you. I recognize that everyone is unique, with different levels of risk tolerance, energy, & motivation. Thus I encourage you to take a hard look at your talents + what risk/s you’re willing to take, to know if you are ready to be a full-time entrepreneur.
9. The Entrepreneurial Lifestyle is more addictive and usually more fulfilling than working for a conventional business. As a result, I know many successful entrepreneurs, like Mark Cuban, who can’t resist starting or investing in a 2nd or 3rd business concurrently, or even more.
Comments: Is there any advice you can share, before a person takes the leap?