I received a call a few days ago from a good friend of mine in California who took over a business I started a few years back. By the way, she was really the person responsible for making the business a success; I simply provided a platform for her to display her talents. In any case, she had gotten pretty bored of the business which was an event promotions business operating within the nightlife scene. Upon discontinuing the business she ended up taking a day job with a company in her area and was explaining to me how it’s driving her nuts! How she was so used to being the one calling the shots and being the owner. I of course laughed and gave a her a resounding “It’s because you are a leader not a follower”. She went on to say how we think like owners not employees and how difficult it is for her. The ironic part is that they gave her a raise after only a few weeks on the job based on her ability to get things done and lead. To most people, this is more than enough to keep them excited about their job, yet for my pal Jennie she can only be a leader, an owner, the captain. It was not too long ago that I came to her with the gift of entrepreneurship and leadership; the knowledge that would change her forever. It’s awesome to see her growth and continued evolution in parallel to mine.
So in conclusion, it’s ok to have the owner mentality. Simply understand who you are and make sure that you are taking the steps towards achieving your goal. Don’t get frustrated and wonder why you are reacting negatively to being just an employee. Embrace it, learn from it, and think about how you can make the employee experience better for your future employees.
So it’s interesting (thinking outloud as I prepare to write this post…), I have recently decided to return to the days of fully committing my entire life to building a start up. Now don’t misunderstand, I have been on this entrepreneurial journey for nearly 8 years now, yet many of those years I have had a day job to be able to support myself. Well, recently I decided to follow Paul Graham’s advice regarding half-hearted efforts and quit my day job, never to return again and go full throttle on my own biz. Now, I’ve done this before, and yes it sucks at times, cause you find yourself broke a lot of the time, you tend to see all the “rest of the world” getting up at 7am rushing to work, and every once in a while you have a moment of insanity and are tempted to jump back into the rat race, only to snap out of it cause you realize that you are not one of them; you’re an entrepreneur (whether it hurts or not). Sure those stable paychecks are nice, yet that’s about it. You end up spending most of your work day on your Blackberry working on your own stuff and lunch breaks at meetings with your own teams. You even sneak out for bathroom breaks to get on a call with a developer who you’re trying to motivate and manage. And again, nothing to do with your day job. This was my experience at my most recent attempt to work at a cushy corporate job. Yep it even sounds gross.
So here I am, I’m 29 going on 30 years old, have spent all my 20’s pursuing a dream, failing, yet loving just enough of my mini successes to have evolved into who I am today, a freaking entrepreneur. Love it or hate it, you are who you are, and this you cannot deny at the end of the day. I am a hard headed, risk-taking, crazy S.O.B, who is the captain of his own ship and will simply always be like this.
So here I am, its 5:15am, I have just finished a night of creating a business brief for a start up idea that I am increasingly excited about. I have nowhere to be in the AM, no boss but myself and guess what, I’ll be up in a few hours, rolling out of bed checking my Blackberry, warming up the PC, and going at it all over again…
This time it’s my way, and I’m loving every minute of it.