So as I begin to blog my journey from corporate life into a concept that I absolutely fell in love with. I do what any clueless beginning writer does. Google the topic I want to start with. What is the first thing that I see? The 5 pitfalls of jumping from corporate to startup well that’s just peachy!
As I read the article, I do a mental checklist making sure I do not fall into the traps associated with the article. (Of course after I have already made the jump cause that’s how I roll) . Not that I jumped in without doing research. I talked with very trusted friends and family. Talked with carefree people and conservative folks alike. Everyone I spoke with, all of them, said the same thing to me. “Eric it’s time for you to do this”.
Comforting? Not really. It was nice that everyone believed in me. It means more to me than they will ever know. This move to me is big, my wife and parents will probably smile if they ever read this because looking back this behavior is not new. In retrospect, I have done it from the early stages of my career and just never realized it ( which I will chronicle in future posts). You see when I was 18 I thought I had the world by the cojones. I had it all figured out. I would leave my small town home of Rock Island, IL, move to Chicago and install car stereos for a living. You laugh, but during this first stage of my career I was mentored by some pretty incredible people early in my career. If you have ever read the book Good to Great it chronicles the early 90’s successes of a company called Circuit City. Well that’s where I went to install car stereos. I took the risk and that experience literally changed my life. I never got the chance to share my gratitude with the people who I learned from and were mentored by. Later in my corporate career I always tried to “pay it forward” to the people I eventually was fortunate enough to manage. I tried to believe in people, when they did not believe in themselves, I pushed people to do things they never thought they could do. I recruited the underdog that always had the fire but may have been overlooked. I tried like hell to make that person shine among their peers. All of my good intentions with my people, the successes, the failures the track record that I had tried to establish. It all means nothing at this moment. That is what you truly you need to embrace when you make this jump. Take your experience, but check your ego, your “track record” and your sense of entitlement at the door.
This blog will hopefully chronicle the good the bad and the ugly of this journey. In a start-up environment I know this journey could last a few months. If you are thinking about the same move you need to accept that reality. Everything is not as glamorous as Shark Tank . This is real, not edited. It is time for me to take a bunch of my own medicine that I tried to instill in the people I have coached. Believe in myself, educate myself to the best of my ability, leave “everything on the field” surround myself with the most talented people I can possibly find, execute, and above all… pour every ounce of energy listening and focusing on our customers needs!
Would love to hear some words of wisdom from others who have made the jump. What else should I think about? Anything to avoid? Best Practices??
Thanks for reading,