Delighted to get a question in my inbox, thought it would be appropriate to create a quick post about the topic.
The question is as follows: “Hi Peter, Though I am well-settled in my job, I have been toying around with the idea of a start-up. I have a couple of great ideas. How should I proceed? What are the kind of mistakes I should avoid?”.
Let’s break it down…
If you are well settled in your job, it’s time to learn, it’s time to get less well settled, it’s time to start to over reach your current job description and get as much experience in every area that you can. Why? Because you are about to do it ALL, from cleaning the office, to signing your next £150,000 deal and anything you can bring with you in terms of experience is gold.
Then it’s time to grind, when you are in a current job and you want to work for yourself there is, in my experience, a time when you have to work double as hard as you are used to. In your case, right now, your side hustle is to understand what it is you want to do.
You say you have a few ideas…it’s time to pick one. The one you settle on, should be one you love, or at the very least can get passionate about at the flick of a switch. It’s no lie that you will work 13 hour days regularly, and sometimes 24 hour days, no joke, you will work harder for yourself than you ever have for anyone before and if you don’t love what you do, you just won’t have it in you to go the distance. For me, digital advertising is an absolute breeze, I love every aspect of it, but if I had to work at something I didn’t love…I would be terrible at it, I just wouldn’t do it.
How should you proceed? It’s time to master the side hustle you need to fulfill your current work role, but after hours, you need to commit to planning and executing whatever it is you need to do to sack your current company and work for yourself. There will come a time when you know the path is clear, and you are able to, usually financially to quit your current job but up to that point there will be frustration, drama, exhaustion but the determination to do your own thing will see you through.
I can’t see a way that anyone goes from immediately working for someone to just walking out and starting their own business, if it was successful, I reckon there would be a fair amount of luck. In my opinion a lot of business is about making calculated risks…just ditching the job and hoping for the best is not a calculated risk.
Here is another piece of advice…IF your possible business idea is something you aren’t that experienced in, go work for someone who does it really well for a year. You will be a model employee because you are learning and the learns you take will be again gold for your future career. Do this before or as you develop your new business…it’s again a calculated risk…more information means more power.
So what mistakes should you avoid? Charge what you are worth. Listen to your own common sense, it’s gotten you this far. Think deeply about what you are doing. Ask for advice like you have done here. Find a space you can work in that feeds your creativity, your requirement for quiet. Depending on your industry, don’t isolate yourself, get involved in your industry. Remember, cash is important, know what you have and where it’s going. If you don’t know something find out about it as soon as you can, trade your money or your talent to find out the things you don’t know that you need to know.
I hope that has been helpful! You know who you are. If anyone has any additional advice… we would love to hear it in the comments below! 🙂