Want to go into business for yourself one day? Go join a startup.
Early in the planning days of our company my partner mentioned that his MBA classes only taught him out to be a good manager at an established company. It taught him little to nothing about starting a business.
He just mentioned this in passing, but it stuck.
The company we are working on right now is the second start up I have been a part of.
I was the first employee at my last company. The early days were exciting. Every step was critical. We had to kill it at every thing we did in order to keep things moving forward.
Every milestone was an enormous accomplishment and we celebrated them. I loved the pace and the energy.
Most of all, I loved that every day stretched me and educated me.
You see the great part about getting on board at a start up early on is it forces you out of your comfort zone. You have to just pitch in at times where things are moving to fast to wait for instruction. You have to do what you believe is right in the heat of the moment. You have to take ownership and responsibility that is more difficult in more established environments.
This high tension (good tension) environment forces you to think and make judgment calls that are slightly beyond your current level of competency.
Instead of learning theory about how huge companies are run, you get to apply yourself in the very real act of getting a company going.
Our new company is no different. There is something new every day. We make multi-variable decisions every day. We grind it out every day. And…we celebrate success every day.
Working at a startup prepared me for the challenge of starting my company. It established a decision making process. It created thick skin It fostered perseverance. It stretched by capacity for stress and risk.
If you are young and you dream of starting your own company one day, do yourself a favor and join a company at the earliest level possible.