Before you leave your desk in a fit of rage and walk out of your 9-5 office job to start your own company, you might want to make sure you’ve thought through the entire plan. That’s the advice of former eBay and LiveOps executive Maynard Webb. Maynard says that building a company from scratch can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s also incredibly frustrating and definitely not something everyone can do.
If you’re not happy at your current job and think being an entrepreneur could be a better fit, Webb first recommends taking a look in the mirror. “What are the pieces that you need to own for your situation and what your situation is and why you’re not happy?,” he says. If you feel the need to make it on your own just because you’re a disenchanted employee, you might want to think again and make sure you have the right motivation.
However, if you really dream of being an entrepreneur, you can still make it happen. Webb recommends starting a new company while you still have the comfort and safety net of a full-time job, especially if you have a family or others to support. Taking the time to test the waters and make sure the business has potential and is a good fit for your lifestyle and personality can set you up for success. It can also help save major hardships if things don’t work out. Webb started his venture, Webb Investment Network, on the weekends and evenings while he was still CEO of LiveOps. He had so much fun and enjoyed the work more than his regular job that he knew he could keep the passion and excitement if it was a full-time venture.
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Entrepreneurship may seem cool, but it isn’t the right fit for everyone. According to Webb, it requires someone who is willing to take risks and who doesn’t mind being lonely. Although the pressures are huge and the risks massive, taking the jump to build something lasting can pay off in the long run for the right people. Entrepreneurs control their own destiny, which is incredibly empowering. They get to decide where their company grows and how they use their time and resources. There’s also the benefit of work/life balance, though Webb warns that it isn’t always as great as some people make it sound. Because founders are responsible for the entire company, their work/life balance can be even more out of whack than someone at a traditional job because of competing and changing responsibilities.
Moving from a secure office job to your own venture is definitely a risk. Before you take the jump, make sure you’re self-aware of your motivations. Evaluate your personality, test the waters, and get ready to be responsible for your own success and the success of others. As Webb says, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it can be incredibly rewarding and empowering for the right type of entrepreneur.
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