Odds are you’ve thought a lot about creating a new business on your own. You’ve read books and blogs, shared ideas with friends, and probably even discovered that someone else brought “your” ideas to life. Yet for some reason, good or bad, you haven’t made a clear decision to start or not start a business. And if you’re like a lot of people I know – you’re no closer to a resolution than you were last month.
I recently spent some time with my friend Joe helping him decide whether he’s ready to leave the friendly confines of a well-paying corporate job to join the uncertainty of a start-up. As it turns out – the reasons he thought were driving his decision to potentially start a new business weren’t the real reasons at all. And maybe, just maybe, it’s not just Joe and this also pertains to you.
For me to discover the truth behind why I was or was not creating something on my own – it took years and the benefit of hindsight. As a strategy consultant with Accenture, I lucked into the amazing opportunity to create a new business selling a technology solution to Caterpillar dealers globally. Even after launching this new business, I was reluctant to leave the safe harbors of a steady job and work to create something new on my own. Two years at a top MBA program and over 3 years in management consulting, including a successful business launch, and I told myself I wasn’t ready. Worse yet…I believed it.
But enough about Joe and me. Let’s look at the good reasons why people don’t enter the start-up world. And to be clear – there are a lot of good reasons to not create something on your own. I tip my cap to those of you who actively consider life in a start-up and choose another path for good reason. After all, life doesn’t begin and end with careers that use words like co-founder, cap table, burn-rate, runway, pivot, convertible note, accelerator, incubator, and hoodie.