Monday, April 29, 2013

Know when to pull the entrepreneurial trigger


We've all heard these cliche's :

- Do what you have to do
- Opportunity knocks but once
- Turn lemons into lemonade

All of these sayings could apply to my decision to become my own boss but they would also oversimplify the process of leaving the corporate ranks.

Starting a business should happen when you get a sense that the timing is right (notice I didn't say perfect) and when you've focused on your marketable skills.

I didn't use the phrase "perfect timing" because many businesses begin out of necessity or from less than desirable circumstances.  Many entrepreneurs are fired from a job before they become owner and operator of their destiny.  Others have to make tough life choices and the "good job" loses out.  

I had no idea that once I took maternity leave that I would never return to my job.  I worked on the operations side of a media distribution company.  It was my job to make sure that commercials ran correctly and ran on time, no matter how long it took.  I've always had a need to improve the work flow around me but when you're working for someone else, that's not always an option.  I remember watching Kelly Cutrone on TV and I'd note how often she'd talk about being a stressed-out smart girl but that she couldn't live any other way than being the boss.  I realized that I was one of those people when I began interviewing for jobs again.

The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that the customer directly decides your worth.  If you provide a product or service that people want at a price they are comfortable with then you stay afloat, if not then you sink.    This isn't the case when you're an employee.  Being an employee at a good company gives you a sense of security but it also limits your earning potential -  risk vs reward.  So many factors go into your rise up the corporate ladder- Where did you go to school?, Did you intern?, Where was your previous job?, What were you earning last year?  I've come to the point where I'd rather deal with the client myself.

One factor in starting a business that cannot be overstated is the importance of defining your marketable skills.  You may be able to paint well but are you prolific enough as an artist to support yourself on your work?  Are your paintings the most marketable use of your talents?  Questions like these prevented me from jumping into the entrepreneurial pool sooner because I didn't know how to market my talents.  Once I realized my specific place in the market I really felt as though I'd found my purpose.

I know I'll be successful with Restore Order because I feel passionate about helping people get organized and go further.