So you want to be an entrepreneur. Outstanding. Do you have a vision? A business plan? The funds to realistically put a plan into action? If you answered yes to all of these questions – this article isn’t for you – if you have the ways and means, seriously, what are you waiting for? Stop reading and start doing.
This post is dedicated to the wannabees – all of us out there who want to break free from the corporate world and live the startup life but don’t know where to begin. You and I represent the creative minds that will be without a doubt the next innovators of the world – but as new college graduates faced with the worst economic recession in decades, we’re held back by the realm of reality – a place that tells us to be cautious and think realistically – take any job you can get to pay the bills and live a mundane (albeit secure) life.
A Gen Y army is building of individuals who are tired of settling, who aren’t willing to take any job for the sake of having a job, and as a result won’t touch a ‘corporate’ work environment with a ten foot pole. While our initiative and pride are commendable, our overwhelming sense of personal entitlement might actually doing more harm than good. We allow ourselves to become closed-minded to what might end up being a great opportunity because it doesn’t fit into our perfect career scenario (I’m just as guilty of this as the rest of you). But speaking from experience, there ARE opportunities out there that may not seem ideal on the surface, but when approached with an open mind, might very well be something you can totally fall in love with – jobs that give you the potential to think like an entrepreneur, without drafting the business plan and taking out the business loan yourself.
That’s the take-away here. Always maintain an open mind. Don’t sell yourself short, never settle – because 9 time out of 10 you don’t have to. I’m a living breathing testament that finding a (good) job is possible, even in this recession. But if you would have told me I would have ended up in web marketing for a healthcare provider two months ago, back when I was buying and selling billboards in Nashville, I would have said you’re crazy. But for the first time in my life, I have a job that I wake up every day feeling good about – with a workload I’m happy to take home with me because it’s a position that allows and demands ownership and accountability.
Find a job that gives you the freedom to be you – a company who will trust you to take all of the responsibility and run with it. Somewhere that will be asking for YOUR opinion on day one. Go above and beyond: Draft execution plans, develop new programs, grab your 7am Starbucks and go in early, stay late, work from home. Own you’re title – and over time you’ll realize you’re not working FOR someone, you’re working with them. Learn and absorb the knowledge from those who have come before you.
Embrace the mantra of an entrepreneur and apply it to your nine to five. Besides, that future Fortune 500 you’ve been wanting to start will be there when you’re ready.