Whether you are in the beginning or middle of a career, it’s all a journey, and risk is a part of that journey. So, whether you want to stay in your career or perhaps become an entrepreneur, you still want to minimize your risks. Depending on your career path, it also contains risks. And if you are not passionate about your work, why are you doing it? Entrepreneurs are no different from you, they just want the accountability and risk that comes with their choices.
No entrepreneur anyone ever met said they were looking forward to failure. The key is to minimize your risks. So, entrepreneurship is intertwined with risk-taking and risk elimination. After all, there’s no progress without risk-taking. An ancient Greek historian once said, ‘Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.’ And this is the answer to ‘why do entrepreneurs take risks?’ Because they want their journey in life to be rewarding on their terms. They want the freedom that comes with decision making and accountability. It’s not always safe but neither are most careers.
According to a June, 2023 report on career site, Zippia.com, while 49% of American workers report being ‘very satisfied with their work,’ only 20% are passionate about their jobs. While career passion might be evasive, there are risks with creating a startup company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of new businesses fail during their first two years, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. So, you need to purposely reduce your opportunities for failure through preparation, knowledge and awareness. In other words, reduce your risk and heighten the odds for success. Here are several insights that may help you prepare for a career transition to entrepreneurship.
Leverage your expertise. Quite a few entrepreneurs leverage what they did in their career to a potential startup. Know how to code? Get familiar with SaaS, Cloud and AI as potential solutions to problems people or companies are having. If you are a solid marketer, can you leverage that into a new kind of marketing agency or service like Wrapify?
Recruit a mentor. If you want to reduce your risk of failing in a particular business, then recruit a mentor who has built a company in that in industry. Google them, Link in with them, attend a talk they give and figure out a reason to be valuable to them. Hopefully, they love that energy and tenacity and agree to give you advice and support.
Work for startup. If you want to create a startup company one day and have no experience in doing that, then reduce your risk and go work for a startup. Note what the leaders do well and not so well. Pay attention to the tools they utilize to run the business. Understand the business model.
Acquire knowledge and prepare. Let’s say you really like anything and everything to do with the future of AI. Well, then start reading. Examine early startups getting funding and what they are actually doing, the problem they are trying to solve. Go to AI meetups and events. Hang out with a few AI quasi experts. Find out what you don’t know and keep learning.
Network as if you were an entrepreneur. If you really want to be an entrepreneur, then start acting like one. Be who you want to be. “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard Start networking with entrepreneurs by attending meetups, talks, events, social events. If you want to be in an entrepreneurial wolfpack, start acting like a wolf.
Pay attention to trends. You can’t just randomly come up with an idea or think you have found a problem worth solving if you don’t do the research on trends, people and industries. Uber does not happen unless the founders are focused on the taxi industry, mobile apps and payments, trends and the unhappiness of people taking a taxi.
Know your why, hone your story. If someone met you in an elevator and asked who you were and what di you do, what would you say. You could say you write code. Or you could say you are someone who has focused on the AI industry observed the trends and are poised to build a disruptive startup. Which person do you want to talk with further?
Improve your communication skills. In the age of texting and social media, too many people are losing, or have never gained, solid communication skills. You can’t text your boss when you are having a face to face conversation in the hallway. And if you think you are going to have an amazing career or perhaps one day be an entrepreneur, you better learn to pitch yourself and a potential company. People invest in people they trust, not a Tik Tok video.